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I trust that this elementary Sketch of South-Indian Palaeography may supply a want long felt 
by those who are desirous of investigating the recU history of the peninsula of India. 

From the beginning of this century (when Buchanan executed the only archaeological survey 
that has ever been done in even a part of the South of India) up to the present time, a number of 
well meaning persons have gone about with much simplicity and faith collecting a mass of rubbish 
which they term traditions and accept as history. There is some excuse for Buchanan, but none 
for his followers; the persistent retailing of this "lying gabble" (as Genl. Cunningham aptly terms 
it) has well-nigh ruined the progress of Indian research, and caused the utter neglect of a subject 
that evidently promises much>). The Vedic literature will always remain the most attractive object 
of study in relation to India, but there is much besides to be studied. The history of Indian 
civilization does not cease (as some appear to think) with the early period of Buddhism. About the 

1) It mast be obyioas that these traditionB are merely attempts at explanations of the unknown through current ideas, which 
in S. India amount to the merest elements of Hindu mythology as gathered from third rate sources. Mouhot the illustrious 
disooyerer of the Cambodian temples, though a naturalist and not an arohaologist, saw this yery plainly. He says (''Trayels 
in the Central Parts of Indo-Ghina", yol. ii. pp. 8, 9.): '*A11 traditions being lost, the natiyes inyent new ones, aooording 
to the measure of their capacity." The M4h&tmyas are equally worthless with the oral legends, for thoy are modern composi- 
tions intended to oonneot particular places with eyents entirely mythical and belonging to modern or eyen foreign religions 
systems^ How worthless tradition is in S. India, a few examples will easily proye. The chain of rocks from India to Ceylon 
is (as is well known) connected with the myth of R&ma*B conquest of Lank&, but this localization of the mythical eyent must 
be quite recent; for, firstly, whateyer may be the age of the Rftm&yana, the worship of R&ma is quite modem. Affain, had there 
been any such myth current in the plaoe during the early centuries A. D., we might expect something about it in the Periplus 
or Ptolemy, especially as the former giyes the legend then current about Cape Comorin; but there is nothing of the kind to 
be found. Lastly, there is nothing whateyer (Mr. D*Alwis assures us) known of the legend in Ceylon. Again, the localization 
of the eyents of the Mah&bh&rata is endless; eyery few miles in S. -India one can find the place where some battle or other 
eyent occurred, and so it is also in Jaya. Such legends therefore are absolutely worthless, for they proye no more than that 
the MahAbhftrata and Rdm&yana are or were fayourite stories oyer a large part of the East. But the traditional practice in 
respect of ceremonies is worth little more ; though in this case religious prejudices can hardly interfere. Thus for the Soma 
many different plants are used. The Brahmans on the Coromandel Coast take the 'Asolepias Acida*, those of Malabar the 
*Ceropegia Decaisneana* or ^Ceropegia Elegans*. How different in appearance these three plants are, may be readily seen by 
a comparison of the figures of them giyen by Wight in hi« "Icones" ii., 695 ("Ascl. Acida) and his "Spicilegium Neilgherriense*' 
pi. 162 and 155. From Dr. Hang's description (''Aitareya BrAhmana" ii., p. 489) I am inclined to think that a fourth plant 
is used at Poonah. Which then, if any of them, is the original Soma? And this loss of tradition must (apart from the obyioas 
deyelopment of rites) haye begun yery early; for otherwise, it is impossible to account for the yariations in the details of the 
same ceremony as described, e. ff. by the different (Src^^^Mfttras. Thus we find, in the Cayanas, that Apastamba directs the 
eonstrnction of the altars in a different way to that prescribed by Bodh&yana. So again the great difference in the way of 
uttering the Yedic accents and the singing of the S&ma Teda, must strike eyery one who hears them. These differences, at 
all eyents, cannot be original; for they occur among foUowers of the same Q&kh& of the Teda. The Agoka tree of S. India is 
the Onatteria longifoUa; that of the North, the Jonesia a^oka. Tradition is worthless all oyer the East in exactly the same 
way. Once, when crossing in a boat from the Nubian bank of the Nile to the temple of Philae, I asked the natiye boatman 
what he knew of the Temple? He replied directly: ''It is the Castle of Anas AlwajM**. This personage is the h^ro of a 
popular Arabic fairy-tale! Had the boatman been a natiye of India, he would haye answered: ^'R&ma's (or the Pindaya's) 
palace", and backed up his story with an endless legend. 


early centuries of the Christian era, we find the Buddhist-Brahmanical civilization extending from 
its home in the North over alien races inhabiting the peninsula of India, and in the course of some 
few centuries it had already extended over Burmah, the Malay Islands, and even to the forests and 
swamps of Cambodia. But this immense progress was not a mere reception of stereotyped forms and 
opinions by uncivilized peoples; it was on the contrary (and herein lies the interest of the subject), 
a gradual adaptations^ to circumstances, including the creation of national literatures in many 
languages, which were then first reduced to writing and system. In South-India, at all events, 
new sects rapidly arose, which have reacted powerfully on Northern India. Books containing the 
various religious opinions that have prevailed more or less in these Hinduized, or rather Brahma- 
nized, countries, are yet easily accessible; but the chronological framework is almost entirely 
wanting, and this Can only be supplied from the inscriptions still existing in large numbers. If 
an outline of the historical events of the last fifteen centuries of S. Indian history could be 
gained from these inscriptions, the wearisome dry dogmatic treatises would begin to possess 
some human interest, and the faint outlines of a long obliterated picture would reappear; faintly 
at first, but with time and patient research, they would (like fossils in the hands of the geologist) 
present a living picture of a past, if not attractive, at all events strange. The prospect of such 
a result should attract the few European students of Sanskrit in S. India who at present, in the 
hope of learning something of Indian matters, ^devote their attention to mechanical poems which 
repeat themselves with "most damnable iteration," or to plays composed by pedants during the 
worst times of India. This real history of S. India can only be gathered from inscriptions. 

A manual of Palaeography like the one I have here attempted has a double object in view — 
to trace the gradual development of writing by means of documents of known date, and thus 
also to render it possible to assign a date to the larger number of documents which do not bear any. 
For this purpose I have given a chronological series of alphabets traced (with two exceptions^)) 
from impressions of the original documents; these are by no means perfect, as I have selected only 
the most usual letters, as these only can assist in determinixig the date. Unusual letters are 
often formed after analogy or capriciously, and thus have, in Indian Palaeography, but little value. 

Indian, and even S. Indian, Palaeography is hardly a new subject, though much that is really 
new will, I believe, be found in the following pages, which were originally intended to form part 
of an introduction to a Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit MSS. at Tanjore, now nearly ready for 
the press. As, however, I found that that work would necessarily be of considerable size, I have 
preferred publishing these pages separately. The foundations of Indian Palaeography were laid 
by J. Prinsep some forty years ago'), when he showed that the Indian alphabets then known to him 
were probably derived from the S. Agoka character which he first deciphered; since then, little 
or nothing has been done except Sir W. Elliot's lithographic reproduction of the Hala Kannada 

1 ) Cfr. W. Ton Humboldt's remarks on the Kawi (old Jaranese) literature in his treatise on the Kawi language, ii. p. 4. 

2) Plates xi. and xii. 

8) Bengal As. Soc. J. tL pi. xiii. 


alphabet, at Bombay about 1836^^ Dr. Babington had already given an old Tamil alphabet-^, 
and Harkness republished both with some unimportant additions^^ The materials I have used 
have been collected by myself during several years and in very different parts of the country, 
and are (I have every reason to believe) fairly complete. 

Many attempts have been made by Mackenzie, Sir W. Elliot, Mr. C. P. Brown, Mr. H. J. Stokes 
and others to collect the inscriptions of S. India; but, though the importance of this work has been 
often acknowledged, few results have followed, as no individual (except perhaps Sir W. Elliot) could 
hope to be able to finish such a task. When the greater part of the plates and text that follow 
were already printed (between one and two years ago), this important subject was still viewed 
with indifference; since then, the Indian Antiquary in Bombay, and the labours of Profr. Kern at 
Leiden and Profr. Eggeling in London raise hopes that will not be disappointed. The treatment 
of parts of the Agoka edicts by the former*^ marks the epoch of a real scientific study of Indian 
inscriptions, and his knowledge of Indian antiquities and ways of thought has cleared up what 
seemed likely to remain for ever obscure. Profr. Eggeling is the first to publish the W. Calukya 
documents, and to show what they really mean. But the subjects of these researches present many 
difficulties. K S. Indian inscriptions present comparatively few puzzles, as far as the characters 
used are considered, they can only be satisfactorily explained by a knowledge of Sanskrit and the 
Dravidian languages which rests upon a more certain foundation than is now usual. If the 
absence of notes and abbreviations render transcription easy and certain, there is much in the 
language of the documents that will create serious difficulties. The earliest and most important 
grants for historical purposes are nearly all in Sanskrit, but the scribes were seldom content with 
leaving the names of places untranslated, and to restore these names to their Dravidian forms, 
and thus render identification possible, is often a task beset with difficulties^^ A large number of 
documents are in Canarese and Tamil, but as the orthography fluctuated, and the vocabularies of 
these languages have been but little studied in a scientific spirit, it is not too much to say that 
not a single early inscription in either of these languages has as yet been explained in a perfectly 

1) The only copy I hare seen had no title, hence I cannot giro the exaot date. 

8) Transactions of the R. As. Soc. ii. pi. xili. 

3) London, 1837. (** Ancient and Modern Hindu Alphabets, by Capt. H. Harkness" 87 pp.) 

f) <'Oyer de Jaartelling der Znidelijke Buddhisten", 4° Amsterdam, 1878. 

&) The Sanskritizing of Dravidian names by official scribes seems to have happened in the following ways: 

A. Alteration of the whole name. 

1. Correct translation, e. ^. T&laYrinda=Panaikk&du; Vat&ranya. 

2. Mit'translationB. e.g, B41ft(purt)=KoMi (Cochin); K&nii(pura)=Kansi (CoigeTeram). 

B. Partial translation of the last part of a compound word, and which = town, Tillage, mountain, etc. 6. y. Konkana- 
pura = Eonkana-halli or rather Kohkani-halli ; Kolftcala=P Golkonda. 

C Mythological perversions of Drayidian names the meaning of which was early lost. e. g, P&ndiyan into Pandya 
hence derived from PAndn; BAshtra from Ratta=Reddi; Tansuvilr; Mah&balipura from Mamallaipura; 
Qrtbali from (i^c^Ui* Such perversions are generally intended to localise the N. Indian mythology. 

D, Substitution of an entirely new name, the first part of which is the name of the Ood worshipped and the second 
part 8 1 h a 1 a or some equivalent word. 

I hope some time to be able to bring out a map of 8. India in which all such names will be entered, as far as I have been 
able to identify them. 



satisfactory manner^). These documents contain the earliest specimens of the Dravidian languages 
(beyond single words), that we possess; they are, therefore, of capital importance for the comparative 
study of the S. Indian dialects, but have not as yet been used at all, except by Dr. Gundert. 

These grants will again by their local irregularities of spelling throw great light on the 
history of the literary dialects of those languages, and especially of Ganarese and Telugu. It is 
certain that the earliest literary culture in the Deccan was purely Sanskritic, and that composi* 
tions in the vernacular scarcely existed before the 10th century A. D.; but these were artificial to 
the last degree, and contained Sanskrit words in profusion, they were in short K&vy as*); hence 
for specimens of the language as actually used we must depend on the earlier inscriptions. The 
Tamil literature has also fallen under Sanskrit influences, but to a less degree; yet as it is 
scarcely^ probable that the grammarians had ended their work at the date of the earliest documents, 
these will furnish important information illustrating the history of the language. 

I have thus briefly pointed out what we may hope to gain by a study of the S. Indian inscriptions, 
and, to all aware of the utter uncertainty attending all Indian researches, the prospect must be a 
very attractive one. But there are many difficulties as I have also pointed out, and there is one 
obstacle that I must not omit to notice. From the beginning, Indian studies have been infected 
by a spirit of vague sentimentalism, the cause of which it is difficult to find, and which has 
reasonably caused prudent enquirers to doubt the value of much that has been done. To all 
students of Indian literature one can only repeat the words of advice addressed by M. Chabas 
to the Assyriologists. "Nons invitons les Assyriologues s^rieux k pousser de leur cote le cri d*al- 
arme, et a maintenir leur science au-dessus de la port6e des enthousiastes qui en abusent^)." K 
an eminent Egyptologist finds it necessary to address his cautious fellow-labourers in this 
manner, how much more does the warning apply to Indianists. If Egypt and Assyria present 
merely ruins and broken fragments, these are at least real, whereas Indian literature is mostly 
but a fata-morgana of ruins that have disappeared ages ago. 

I owe my best thanks to the Rev. G. Richter of Mercara for a loan of the Cera grant in his 
possession. To the Rev. F. Eittel I owe many important references and suggestions, as will be 
seen by the text and the "Corrections and Additions" at the end. The Basel Mission Press at 
Mangalore has spared no pains to bring out this Monograph in a complete form; and I especially 
am indebted to my friend Mr. C. Stolz and the other authorities there for the trouble they have 
taken, I hope, not in vain. 

Tanjore, A. B. 

22nd December 1874. 

<)Dr. Gandert's labours on MaUy&Iftm, and more recently, those of Mr. Kittel on Canarese will soon remoTO this obstacle; 
a really g^ood Tamil Dictionary is yet, howeyer, to be written. The best now existing is that printed at Pondicherry in 2 
Tols. 8« C^Par deux missionaires Apostoliques"). 

^)Cfr. Andhra^abdacintrimani i., 1. "ViQra^reyaA K&Tyam" which siitra gires the object of the work. The analogy 
between the 8. Indian artificial poems in the Draridian languages and those in the old Jayanese called Kawi are complete, 
and there can be no doubt that the last thus got their name. 

3) Etudes sur 1* Antiquity* historique d*apr^s les sources Egyptiennes." 2nd ed. p. 128. 







1 HAT the art of writing was imported into India is now allowed by most Orientalists who can 
claim to be heard, but how and when this occurred is by no means clear*). The earliest written 
documents that have been discovered in India are the proclamations of the Buddhist king Piyadasi 
or AQoka which are written in two different characters; and the silly denunciations of writing in which 
the Brahmans have always indulged, render it excessively improbable that they had anything to 
do with the introduction of the art. The inscriptions of A<joka are of about 250 B. C, but it 
seems probable that writing was practised to a certain extent in Northern India nearly half a 
century before that period. 

Nearchus (B. C. 325) expressly states that the Brahman laws were not written^). Megasthenes 
a few years later (c. 302 B. C.) mentions that they had no written books, and that they did not 
know letters (grammata)^) or use seals, but he also mentions milestones at a distance of ten stadia 
from one another, ^^ndicating the bye-roads and intervals"*). It is difficult, though not impossible, 
to suppose that these indications were made by the stones merely, and that there were not any 
marks on them to tell more than the mere position of the stones could do*). The inscriptions of Agoka 

i)Kopp (in 1821) first suggested a foreign Semitic source of the Devanagari alphabet. Dr. R. Lepsius followed in 1884: 
and then with much stronger arguments came Prof. A. Weber (Z. D. D. M. G. x. pp. 889 and ffg. **lndische Skizzen" pp. 
127—150). He has always been the strongest supporter of this theory. But many consider it probable: Prof. Th. Benfey 
(<*Orient und Occident" iii, 170); Prof. Max MfiUer (A. S. L. 2nd Ed. p. 521). Prof. N. L. Westergaard ("Ueber den Sltesten 
Zeitraum der Indisohen Oeschiohte" p. 87) hesitates. He considers it likely that writing was, originally, in India a secret known 
to the traders only. 1 am not able to refer to Bohtlingk's article on the age of writing in India mentioned by Lasnen. Prof. 
Pott ("Etymologische Forschungen, Wurzel*W5rterbuch" ii., 2 p. liii.) is not however satisfied (1870). Mr. E. Thomas (1866) 
suggested a Drayidian origin of the Indian alphabets. Prof. Lassen repudiates a foreign origin for the Indian alphabets 
(I. A* K. Vol. I. 2nd Ed. p. 1008) altogether. Prof. Whitney (** Studies" p. 85) considers n Semitic origin probable. 

S)Frag. F. in ''Reliqua Arriani et Bcriptorum de rebus Alexandri". Ed. C. Mflller, Paris, 1846 (p. 60.) 

3} «Megasthenis Indica" ed. Schwanbeck, Frag, xxvii. (fr. Strabo. xv. 1. 63 — 56) p. 113. 

4) Bo. Frag. xxxiT. (from the same source), pp. 125,6. 

6) It is however singular that, as yet, none of these milestones have been discovered. 

— 4 — 

are also in themselyes proofs that writing was about 250 B. C. a recent practice, for they present 
irregularities of every kind'^ That these inscriptions are of a period immediately after the intro- 
duction of writing has been insisted on by Prof. Wassiljew, who also remarks that it is not long 
after their date that the Buddhists refer to their scriptures as written^). 

On the other hand Nearchus is also represented as stating that the Indians wrote letters on a 
sort of cotton cloth or paper^). 

Again, passages in Megasthenes have been understood by Schwanbeck to imply the use of writ- 
ing at the period when he visited India. These are: (l)some passages which describe the procla- 
mation at the beginning of the year of a sort of astrological calendar for the coming seasons^) ; 
again, (2) the statement that births were considered for astrological purposes^^ But it is obvious 
that such usages afford but a faint presumption that writing was necessarily employed to enable 
them to be practised. There are many savage tribes still existing which are utterly ignorant of 
writing, and nevertheless do exactly the same things. Thus the description given by Megasthenes 
might apply to the ^Medicine men' of America, and the Fetish priests of parts of Africa at the 
present day who are utterly ignorant of any art at all like writing. The Aztecs who, at the best, 
had only an imperfect hieroglyphic character, were great astrologers. Megasthenes also mentions 
(3) songs in honour of gods and deceased persons^^; but there is no necessity to assume that these 
were written. The (4) milestones that he describes, I have already mentioned. On the other hand 
it is expressly stated by Megasthenes that the Indians had no written laws, and strangely enough 
this is quoted by much later writers like Strabo, who must have been able to correct this statement 
if wrong at their time. 

The next point for consideration is: whence did these two alphabets come that we find in use 
in India in the third century before our era? 

During several centuries before that time, the natives of India had opportunities of becoming 
acquainted with many different systems of writing then current in the West and in Persia. 

1 J Thus in the third tablet we find anapitam, and in the fourth anapayisati, bat in the sixth &n&pi<». The redaplioation 
of conBonants is univerBally omitted where it should be found (e. g. piyasa, janasa, &rabhisante, dukaram, svagam, dighAya, etc.). 
Nor is the orthography uniform ; we find in the Southern inscriptions: et&risam and et&disam also. Again in the Southern ins- 
criptions we have anathesu, but in the Northern (at Kapurdigiri) anathesu. Again the Southern inscriptions haye both dasa- 
nam and dasana. The insertion of nasals before consonants is also exoessiTcIy irregular. But this may perhaps be attri- 
buted more properly to the carelessness of the masons who carTcd the text on the rocks. The existence of inscriptions like 
the Ayoka edicts proves that writing was more or less commonly understood, but it is impossible, looking at the above irregu- 
larities and the numerous others that occur, to suppose that writing was then used to express the minute distinctions that we 
find in the grammarians* rules. Hitherto, these irregularities have been generally considered' to be dialectic! 

2; «Der Buddhismus" p. 80 (28). It is much to be regretted that this admirable work, which marks an epoch in Indian 
studies, is not known by an English translation. The author*s immense learning has not preyented him from giving his result 
in the clearest way, and he has evidently worked without any prejudice. 

9) u. s. p. 64, a. 

4) ^Megasthenis Indica" ed. Schwanbeck Fr. I. 42 (p. 91). 

5) Do: Fr. x^iv., 5 (p. 126). 

6) Do: Fr. xxvi., 1 (p. 112). 


— 5 — 

The Phoenicians who voyaged for Solomon came to Southern India at least, and exported from 
thence peacocks which were called in Hebrew by a Tamil name*>. The Persians about 500 B. C. 
conquered India (that is probably, the Punjab and part of India Proper or Northern India), under 
Darius; and in the Inscriptions at Persepolis and Naksh-i-Rustam India occurs as the 2l8t and 13th 
province, respectively, of that monarch's empire^). According to Herodotus India was the 20th 
satrapy, and paid as tribute 360 talents of gold. To pay such a very large sum a great extent of 
the country must have been subject. 

Still earlier conquests by Semiramis and Sesostris are mentioned, but the former is certainly 
mythical'^ and the latter rests on the assertion of Diodorus Siculus alone. As his statement is not 
as yet, corroborated by Egyptian monuments, little weight can be attached to it, but that the Egyp- 
tians traded with India, and that from very early times can hardly be doubted. 

Thus before the conquests of Alexander the natives of India had ample opportunities to learn 
the art of writing from others, or to invent a system for themselves, and thus it must be held 
that they copied, for there has not been found as yet the least trace of the invention and develop- 
ment of an independent Indian Alphabet*), while of the two characters in which the inscriptions of 
Agoka were written, the northern has been conclusively identified with an Aramaic original, and 
a number of letters in the Southern Alphabet point clearly to a similar source. I shall also show, 
further on, that there is a third alphabet of use only in S. India, the Yatteluttu, which must also 
have been derived from the same or a Semitic source ; but which is not derived from, nor is the 
source of the southern AQoka Alphabet though in some respects very near to it. Perhaps the 
most important proof of the Semitic origin of these two last alphabets is the imperfect system of 
marking the vowels which is common to them both. They have, like the Semitic alphabets, initial 
characters for them, but in the middle of words these letters are marked by mere additions to 
the preceding consonant. In the Yatteluttu it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the initial i and u 
are anything more than the consonants y and v. These points are intelligible only on the suppo- 
sition that the Indian Alphabets are derived from the Phoenician, which was formed to suit languages 
in which the vowels are subsidiary to the consonants, a condition which is not met with either in 

1 ) That the Hebrew taki is the Tamil to-yai seems to be finally determined. The identification is dae to Dr. Caldwell C^Comparatiye 
Grammar" p. 66) and is in every way satisfactory. The remaining foreign terms in the same Hebrew passage appear however 
to have not been fairly considered as yet, and all proposed identifications of '^almug" or "algum" would present the greatest 
difficulties. What has been proposed is to be found in Prof. Max Milller^s ** Lectures on the Science of Language" I. pp. 224-6. 
The word Tukiim appears to have been last discussed by M. Vinson in Hovelacque's ** Revue de Linguistique" VI. fasc. 2; but 
I regret not to be able to refer to his article. 

2) On the Empire of Darius see Menant ^Les Ach^m^nides' pp. 167-9. Kossowicz ("Inscriptiones Palffio-PersicsB Achame- 

nidarum" pp. 72-3 and 76—7.) translates the passages as follows: (Inscription of Persepolis) '^2. Edicit Darius rex: Voluntate 

Auramasdae hae sunt provinciie, quas ego tonui cum isto Persiae populo .... mihique tributum afi'erebant : Susiana . . . . 
India" etc. 

(Inscription of Naksh-i-Bustam) 3. Edicit Darius rex: *^Hae aunt provinoifld quas ego capi extra a Persia (extra Persiam). 
Ego eas moae ditionis feci, mihi tributum afferebant quodque eis a me edicebatur hoc obsequentissime faciebant, lex quae mea 
est, haeo ab iis observabatur: Media Indi" etc. The original Persian word is *Hi(n)duB*. 

3j La Legende de 86m^ramiB, par F. Lenormant. (1872) p. 11 etc. 

4) Max Mailer, Sanskrit Grammar (2nd Edition) p. 8. 

— 6 — 

the Sanskritic or Dravidian languages. The character in which the Northern Inscription of A^oka 
(at Kapurdigiri) is written, is from right to left, like all the Semitic characters; and the character 
of the Southern Inscriptions which runs in the contrary direction, yet shows traces of once haying 
been written the same wayJJ 

Mr. E. Thomas') has lately propounded a theory that the southern A^oka alphabet is original- 
ly Dravidian, and then adapted to the N. Indian languages. This could only be the case if we 
assume the Vatteluttu to be the prototype, but as this is an imperfect expression of the Dravidian 
sound-system^), it cannot be an indigenous invention, and the theory presents many other objections. 
One insuperable difficulty is the entire absence of traces of any alphabet having existed in S. In- 
dia before the Vatteluttu, and that all written monuments now known to exist prove a gradual 
invasion of the South by Buddhist and Brahmanical civilizations which brought more complete 
alphabets (derived from the Southern Agoka character) with them in historic times, and meeting 
the old Tamil alphabet or Vatteluttu gradually supplanted it. It is especially remarkable that 
this last never had separate signs for the sonant letters (g etc.) which must have existed if Mr. Thomas's 
theory is correct, but though as I shall afterwards prove, the Tamil language had these sounds in 
the third century after our era, the earliest monuments do not exhibit any marks or letters for them. 

Very few Sanskrit books are nowadays even supposed to belong to a period when writing did not 
exist in India, and the only early ones that appear to mention writing are the Grammars attri- 
buted to Panini and to QlkatSlyana. But the age of these works is by no means clear^) ; and even 
if it be supposed that the Mahabhashya (or great commentary on Panini by Patanjali) has not been 

1) The Southern Insoriptions of A^oka haye e.g. jy where yy must be read, (e.g. in katayyo) and the y is put ander the 
right end of the j. Again the yowel e precedes the consonant which in reading it must follow. The peculiar way of marking r 
to be read before or after the consonant aboye which it is marked (as was first pointed out, I bclieye, by Prof. Westergaard) 
appears to me also to point to the same conclusion. So also the marks which qualify the sign for 100 in the oaye character, 
and which are affixed to the right side of the sign. 

S) In the Journal of the R. Asiatic Society, New Series V. pp. 420 — 3, p. 420 n. "The Aryans inyented no alphabet of 
their own for their special form of human speech, but were, in all their migrations, indebted to the nationality amid whom 
they settled for their instruction in the science of writing: (4) The Devandgari was appropriated to the expression of the 
Sanskrit language from the pre-existing Indian P&li or L&t alphabet which was obyiously orginated to meet the requirements 
of Turanian (Drayidian) dialects." Mr. Thomas goes on to connect the adyance of Sanskrit Literature and Grammar *^with 
the simplified but extended alphabet they (i. e. the Arian inyaders of India) constructed in the Arianian proyinces out of a yery 
archaic type of Phosnioian, and whose graphic efficiency was so singularly aided by the free use of birch bark." On the p. 428 
he appears to consider that the Drayidians were taught by Scythian inyaders who preceded the "Vedic Aryans". It is not 
clear if Mr. Thomas considers that the primitiye alphabet which he assumes to haye existed, was inyented in Indian or an 
importation. ^) Below, A pp. B. 

4) Prof. Goldstficker considered PAnini t.o haye liyed before Buddha (*^P&nini's Place" pp. 225-227) chiefly on the ground 
that the siitra yiii., 2, 50 ("niry&no *yftte) does not proyide for the peculiar Buddhist sense of niry&na, and that therefore it is 
subsequent to P&nini. The same identical siitra, howcyer, occurs in the Gran^mar attributed to ^^katAyana (iy., 1, 249), and 
is explained by the commentator (Yaxayarman) in a manner that makes it appear as if Goldstficker^s interpretation were too 
strict— ay4te kartari | niry&no muniA | niry&na/t pradtpa^ ] *ay&ta* iti kim | niryllto y&taA | niry&tam yAtena | 

Prof. Benfoy C^Geschichte d. Spraohwissenschaft" p. 48 n. 1.) puts PAnini's Grammar at about 320 B. C. The latest 
authority is Prof. Aufreoht who says (■* Annual Address" by A. J. Ellis Esq. as President of the Philological Society, 1878, p 22) 
** Sanskrit Grammar is based on the grammatical aphorisms of PAnini, a writer now generally supposed to haye liyed in 
the fourth century B. C. at that time Sanskrit had ceased to be a liying language." Cfr. Whitney "Studies" pp. 75-7. 

— 7 — 

since worked oyer again and again and tampered with (a supposition it is very difficult to ayoid), 
this commentary would only prove the existence of Panini's Stltras in the second century before 
our era, a time when writing was certainly in common use in India. 

Panini implicitly mentions (according to the Mahabh&shya) the writing of the Yavanas. It 
has not yet been fully determined what was intended by this term, nor is it clear whether it was 
in use in India or not^'. It can mean either Persian or Greek writing. If the date of Panini and 
Qakatayana is put before 350 B. G. the first would be the probable meaning, as has been assumed 
by Prof. GoldstUcker-); if later than that, it could not possibly mean anything but Greek, for which 
Prof. Weber has decided'^. 

But Panini's stltras show that writing was known in his time, and many expressions render it 
impossible to doubt that he used writing, and that to express minute details ^>; and one of his S&tras 
(vi., 3, 115) shows that the figures for eight and five were then used for marking cattle. That 

1) The pasBages (text and C. Mah&bhilshya) are: (P. iv., i, 49) "Indravaranabhaya^aryarudrampdahimftranyayaya- 

7ayaiiam&tiiUc&ry4n&in ftnuk." On this sAtra the Mah&bhlkBhya (■* Benares edition, p. 27 of Gh. iy. in Vol. iii.) remarks: 

'^Him&ranyayor mahattye" ) *Him&ranyayor mahattya' iti yaktayyam | mahad dhimam him&nt | mahad aranyam aranyinl|| 

'*yay&d doshe" 1 *Tay&d dosha* iti yaktayyam | dushto yayo yay&nt|| Yayan&l lipy&m | 'TayanAl lipy&m* iti yaktayyam ] 

yayan&n! lipiA || etc. 

The other Grammar giyes the substance of this sAtra in seyeral (9&kaUyana I., 8, 52—57): — 

52. M&tnlAo&ryopftdhyfty&d &n ca | 

58. yarnnendram|idabhaya(aryaradrAd An | 

54. SAryadeyat&yftm | 

55. Ad I (This allows siiry& also). 

56. Yayanayay&l lipidushte | 

On this last siltra Taxayarman*s C. runs: Yayanayay&bhy&m yathAkramam lipau dushte o& *rthe striyAm Anpratyayo bhayati 
yayan&n&m lipi/i yayanftnt | yayan&ny& i dnshto yayo yay&nt | yay&ny& || 57 Him&ranyAd nrau | eta 

The word lipi (which occurs in a sAtra of PAnini— iii., 2, 21, corresponding to QAk. iy., 8, 132, ». e. diy&yibhAni^AprabhA- 
bhAskarArushkartrantAnantAdiuAndilipibalioitraxetrajanghAbAhyahardhanurbhaktasankhyAt taA ||) is in some respects remark- 
able. The AQoka edict (where it first occurs) is called a dhammalipi and is said to be lekhitA or lekhApitA. As in eyery case 
writing originally consisted of scratches or incisions on a hard substance (bricks were used in Assyria ; bamboos in China, and 
stone in "Eg^V^ primitively), one would expect instead of a word from Y lip (= smear), a deriyatiyc of V^ likh (= scratch); 
especially as the last is always used in India to express the act of writing on anj^ substance (eg. in the MAnayadharma^Astra). 
Now in the cuneiform inscriptions of the Aohaemenides dipi is the term used for those edicts. Thus in the Behistan inscription 
of Darius we find (iy. 15) '^tuym kA hya aparam imAm dipim yainAhy." Thou whoeyer beholdest afterwards this toritingl It 
seems to me, therefore, not unlikely that 1 i p i has been introduced into India from the Persian dipi. Both K6ssowicz and Spiegel 
refer dipi to the Sanskrit Y Up, but I see by a note that Dr. Hincks took this word to be Semitic I haye lost the reference, so 
cannot giye his deriyation, but the root ktb will occur to eyery one. With an admittedly Semitic ultimate origin of the Indian 
alphabets, it is natural to expect a foreign term for the art of writing, and I would, therefore, suggest that lipi is not a 
deriyatiye of V lip, but, a corrupt foreign term. The primA facie deriyation from Y lip assumes that 1) writing is indigenous 
to India, and 2) that it originally began there with marks not scratched on a hard substance but painted on the prepared 
surface of a suitable stuff; both which assumptions are strongly negatiyed by facts, (contra Pott*s W. W. y. pp. 180—1). 

2) *PAnini*s Place" p. 16. *It would seem to me that it denotes the writing of the Persians, and probably the cuneiform 
writing which was already known, before the time of Darius, and is peculiar enough in its appearance, and diflTerent enough 
from the alphabet of the (17) Hindus, to explain the fact that its name called for the formation of a separate word.** 

3) ''Indische Studien" iy., 89. In the Berlin *" Monatsbericht** for Dec. 1871, p. 616 n. he says: der Name. . . Yayana. . . 
ist iibrigens jedenfalls wohl schon yor Alexander's Zeit, durch die frflheren Perser-Kriege nfimllch, in denen ja auch Inder als 
Htllfstruppen gegen die Griechen mit im Felde standon, den Indern bekannt geworden.** Prof. Westergaard is also of opinion 
(Ueber den altesten Zeitraum p. 88) that Greek writing is intended. 

*) ''PAnini's Place** pp. 84 — 61 Prof. Westergaard appears to haye arriyed independently at the same conclusion. 

— 8 — 

writing must soon haye come into general use in India for literary purposes cannot be doubted, 
for without it, it is impossible that the systematic prose treatises which form so large a share 
of the Sanskrit literature, could ever have been composed*). 

In all the earlier Sanskrit works there is very little, if any, reference to writing, and the pre- 
ference for oral teaching exhibited by them is very "marked; in fact the Brahmans seem to have re- 
garded the writing of any of their sacred or grammatical works as a deadly sin. But in the 
mediseval treatises it is evident that this most useful of arts had gained recognition in spite of 
priestly fanaticism and exclusiveness. Thus the earliest Sanskrit treatise on prosody which is 
attributed to Pingala contains nothing that can be held to imply the use of writing; the later imi- 
tation which describes the Prakrit metres, however, contains a sCltra which proves the use of writ- 
ing at the time it was composed^); so also does the recent (13th century) grammar the Mugdabodha. 

That a literature of considerable extent can exist without being written has been conclusively 
shown by Prof. Max Miiller in his "Ancient Sanskrit Literature," but it could not possibly in- 
clude scientific and systematic treatises, though the oral transmission of long epics is quite 

The foregoing facts will, I think, prove that the art of writing was little, if at all, known in 
India before the third century before the Christian era, and as there is not the least trace of the 
development in India of an original and independent system, it naturally follows that the art 
was introduced by foreigners. 

I have already mentioned the numerous indications that point to a Semitic original of the In- 
dian alphabets, and which are generally received as sufficient; the immediate original is, however, 
as yet uncertain. Three probable sources may be suggested. The first is that the Indian alphas 
bet came direct from Phoenicia, and was introduced by the early Phoenician traders^). The second 
is that the original of these alphabets is to be sought in the modified Phoenician alphabet used by 
the early Himyarites of Arabia, and this has been lately put forward as an ascertained and cer- 
tain fact^). As a third possibility I would suggest that the Indian alphabets may be derived from an 
Aramaic charecter used in Persia or rather in Babylonia. 

1) Cfr. Haug*8 * Essays on the Beligion etc. of the Parsees" p. 129. ''In the fragments of the Ancient Literature as extant 
in the Zend-Ayesta, nowhere a word of the meaning *to write* is to be found. That it merely fortuitous ; because systemati- 
cal books on scientific matters can ncTer be composed without the aid of writing.*' Whitney "Studies** p. 82. 

2) "Pr&krit Pingala** I., 2. Dtho samjuttaparo bindujuo etc. Here bindu can only refer to a written mark o. It is explain- 
ed by Laxmtn&tha (in his "Pingal&rthapradtpa**): 'bindujuo* binduyuktaA s&nusvAraA. 

9) Cfr. 0rote*s "History of Greece**, ii., pp. 144 — 148 on the long period during which the Homeric poems were recited be- 
fore they were committed to writing. 

^) "Orient und Occident** iii., p. 170. "Dass es einen uralten Zusammenhang zwischen Indien und dem Westen gab, 
wissen wir mit Entschiedenheit durch K5nig Salamon*s Ophirfahrten. Sicherlich waren diess nicht die altesten. Die Phoni- 
cier waren gewiss schon lange vorher Vermittler des Handels zwischen Indien und dem Westen und wie sie, hSchst wahrschein- 
lich, die Schrift nach Indien brachten, mochten sie und yielleicht iEgypter selbst auch manohe andre Culturelemente hinilber 
und herflber bewegt haben.** 

ft) By F. Lenormant ("Essai sur la propagation de 1* alphabet Ph^nicien** Yol. I., pt. I., Table tI.) The author makes the 
"alphabet primitif du Y^men** the source of both the Himyaritic and M&gadhi (!I) alphabets. 

As regards the first possibility, it seems altogether inconsistent with the evidence regarding 
the scanty use of writing in the fourth century B. C. already given ; for, as Phoenician communi- 
cations direct with India must have ceased full five-hundred years, if not more, before that date, 
it is almost incredible that the art should not have arrived at perfection as applied to the Indian 


languages in that time, and have been in common use; but this is (as has been already shown) 
far from being the case. Again it is difficult to understand how the forms of the letters could be 
retained with so little modification for such a long period as this view would require; for, from 
the date of the inscriptions of Agoka (250 B. C), documents with undisputed dates show that 
changes were marked and rapid, and the progress of adaptation no less so^). 

As regards the second possibility, that the southern Afoka alphabet came from the Himy- 
arites, the great difficulty is to show that the people of S. W. Arabia were in a position to 
furnish India with the elements of an alphabet so early as the 4th century B. C. It is very re- 
markable that the Himyaritic character was written from left to right, and that this was an 
innovation made by the people of Arabia is proved by the boustrophedon Himyaritic inscriptions 
that have been recently discovered -^ The difficulty of direction of the southern Agoka character 
being from left to right would disappear if the Himyaritic character be assumed to be the original; 
but it remains to be proved that the civilization of S. W. Arabia had advanced so far already in 
the fourth century before the Christian era, as to be able to furnish India with a system of 
writing. It must also be recollected that the Himyaritic alphabet did not mark the vowels, as 
its derivative, the ^thiopic alphabet does. It is to be hoped that the intrepid explorer M. Hal6vy 
will be able to clear up the very interesting question of the date of the Himyaritic civilization. 

f The possibility and probability that the Indian alphabets are derived from an Aramaic type 
used in Persia, seems not to have been yet considered. The Persian or Assyrian cuneiform 
characters cannot be thought of, though the last remained in use up to the first century of our 
era^) for many purposes; but it is certain that a cursive Aramaic character was already long used, 
before (in the third century A. D.) it became (in the form of Pahlavi) the most generally 
used character for the official languages of Persia. The researches of Layard and Fresnel 
brought to light bricks with inscriptions in cuneiform and also in Egyptian and Semitic characters *^ 
and these go back, probably, to the time of the Achsemenides'^^ Whichever of these three probable 

Olt is also worthy of notice that all the Southern A^oka Inscriptions from Gnjarat to Gaigam (in the Bay of Bengal) are 
in precisely the same character. This looks as if the art of writing had then first spread over Northern India from the 
place where it was first used, perhaps Gujarat. In the course of a few hundred years, however, the alphabets used in 
Gnjarat and Bengal had already become so difi'erent as to be very little alike in appearance. 

8) The discoyery was originally made by a French traveller some years ago, but has been only recently confirmed. (Letter 
by von Maltzan in the Allg. Zeitung for March 1st 1871, pp. 10-11.) 

S) Oppert in "Melanges d'Arch^ologie ^^gyptienne et Assyrienne" faso. I. p. 27. 

4)Cfr. Benan, '^Histoire des langues S^mitiques**, p. 115 etc. 

S) Spiegel, <^Grammatik der Huzvaresoh. Spraohe", p. 26: '^die spateren Alphabete ErAns verrathen einen Semiiischen 
Ursprung, und mogen daher vlelleicht aus einem friiheren aramaischen Alphabete stammen, das bereits nnter den AohSme* 
niden neben der Keilschrift im Gebrauche war.** 


— 10 — 

sources of the Indian alphabets may be accepted, there is a difficulty which seems to haye escaped 
the notice of palseographists — the origin of the manner of indicating yowels in the body of a word. 
All the three primitive Indian alphabets possess this peculiarity with comparatively unimportant 
differences, but though the system closely resembles the vowel points used by the Semitic races, 
it seems that there is not the least evidence for believing thai it was used by these last earlier 
than at a time when it was already in use in India. 

A cursory inspection of the alphabet used in the Southern A^oka inscriptions will satisfy any 
one accustomed to such enquiries, that the character from which it is derived did not comprise a 
sufficient number of letters, and that new signs were made by altering some of the old ones'). 
This is, in itself, sufficient proof that the Indian alphabet was adapted, and not an indigenous inven- 
tion. Other facts point to an adaptation from a Semitic character, but in the absence of further 
evidence than already exists, it is useless to attempt to decide authoritatively as to how and when 
this occurred. The question is one of the greatest importance, but except new discoveries are 
made of inscriptions older than any yet known, it must remain open. The reasons, however, for 
believing that writing was but little known or practised in India before 250 B. C. are tolerably 

In considering the question of the age and extent of the use of writing in India, it is important 
to point out that the want of suitable materials in the North at least, before the introduction of 
paper, must have been a great obstacle to its general use. The best material for writing on to be 
found in India is the palm leaf; either of the Talipat (Corypha umbraculifera), or of the Palmyra 
(Borassus flabelliformis). But the former appears to be a recent introduction from Ceylon into 
S. India and it is there by no means common even on the West Coast. The Palmyra also appears 
to have been introduced from Ceylon or Tinnevelly into the rest of the Peninsula; it is by no means 
common out of the South^>. The materials mentioned at an earlier date (excluding lotus leaves 
and such fancies of poets) almost preclude the existence of Mss. of books or long documents. The 
^bhtirjapatra' which is understood (apparently on philological grounds) to mean the bark of the 
birch-tree, could not have been available in large quantities, nor would it be very suitable^^ 
The supposition of those who with Whitney and B5htlingk assert that writing was, in India, long 
used only esoterically for composition and the preservation of texts, while the instruction was en- 
tirely oral, is, on these grounds almost certainly correct. 

Arrian*> (quoting Megasthenes) calls the palmyra palm by its proper name (tala*)), but its leaves 
are not mentioned anywhere by classical writers as affording writing materials used in India. 

1) Ifr. Thomas has proved this olearly by his figures on p. 422 of the fifth volume of the New Series of the R, As, Society* s 
Journal. The letters oh, th, dh, th, ph show their origin very clearly. 

s) Yoigt. "Hortus Suburbanus Calcuttensis" p. 640. Roxburgh, however, states that it is ** common all over India*'. (Flora 

Indica, III. p. 790.) It requires the leaves of many trees to make an ordinary grantha. Palm leaves (there called loniar) 

were and are used for writing the Eawi or Old Javanese in Java and Ball. 

s) MSS. written on this substance are said to be in existence, but I have not seen or even heard of any in India. It is re- 
markable that this 'bhtlrja* has not been botanically identified. 

4) «Indica*' ed. Dfibner, ch. YII., 3 (p. 209). 5) in 8. India the palmyra is caUed *t&la*; the talipat, «rtt&la. 


— 11 — 

Plinyi) indeed mentions palm leaves as used for this purpose, but he refers the practice to 
Egypt before the discovery of papyrus. 

Paper was probably introduced by the Muhammadans; in all parts of India it appears to be 
called by some corrupt form of the Arabic name ^k§.gat'. Its use in S. India is at all events very 
recent, and even now scarcely ever occurs except among the MahrS,tht colonists. I have seen a 
Telugu MS. of a Sanskrit work written about the end of the 17th century, and Paulinus k St. 
BartholemsBO notices msb. on paper of the Bhagavata (in Travancore 18th century); but the bi- 
goted Hindus of the South consider this material to be unclean and therefore unfit for writing 
any book with the least pretence to a sacred character. 



1 HE Agoka inscriptions written in the Southern alphabet are found at numerous places in India 
Proper, (which is North of the Vindhya range), from Girnar in Gujarat, to Jogada Naugam in 
Ganjam^^, the northernmost province of Madras on the Bay of Bengal; but not to the south of the 
line extending from the one place to the other. What the state of civilization was in the Deccan 
and Tami} country in the third century B. C. it is impossible to say, but Piyadasi addresses his 
proclamation to kings in the Peninsula in the same sentence with the Greek sovereigns to whom he 
appeals'). It is therefore most improbable that the South of India was Buddhist at that time^ 
and it is almost certain that it was not Brahmanized. It is possible to show, historically, how 
the Brahmans gradually supplanted the old Buddhist-Jain civilization of the Peninsula, the earli- 

l)Ch. XIII., 21. 

2) 190 13« 15" K. and Si^ 58* 55*' E. The description of the place is given in a report to the Madras OoTernment re- 
printed in the Indian Antiquary^ I., pp. 219-221. It was first discoTered by Sir W. Elliot (Madras J. VI. N. B. p. 103). 

9) Tablet II. "Evam api sAmantesu yathft Coda P&(n)d& Satiyaputo Eetalaputa etc. The jhird word is read pacantesn 
by H. H. Wilson, and taken to be for pratyanteshu a word which is not supported by authorities. As p and s, and c and m 
only differ in a very trifling degree, I yentnre to read sAmantesu which is far preferable. Prinsep suggested, and no doubt 
rightly, that Coda refers to the C61a kingdom in S. India; Prof. H. H. Wilson, however, (pp. 14-15 of his article on the In- 
scriptions, separately printed from J. R. As. S. xii.) seems to think that these names refer to the Korth of India; but as the 
C61a kingdom of the South was always famous, it does not appear necessary to assume another Oola kingdom in the Iforth 
as yet unknown. 


— 12 — 

est historical civilization of which there is any record in that part of India; and the fact that 
the Vedas of the South are the same as those of the North, proves conclusively that this was done 
at a time when the Brahmanas and Siitras had been definitely reduced to their present form, or 
at a time, at all events, not before the Christian era. There is not much historical evidence 
to prove that there were Brahmans in Southern India before the seventh century A. D., and 
there is very little to indicate that there were Buddhists or Jains there before that date^). The 
exodus of members of both sects from the favoured North to the unattractive South, was, probably, 
the result of political events in the former country. The Jains as heretics were most likely 
driven out by the orthodox Buddhists® >, and the Brahmans followed some centuries later, owing to 
the ceaseless conflicts that had disturbed their original friendliness with the Buddhists, and to 
foreign invasions. In the South they got the mastery perhaps sooner than in the North. 

At all events the oldest inscriptions that have been found in Southern India are far from being 
as old as the A^oka edicts, and the paucity of them — for the only place where they occur is Ama^ 
ravati — shows that Buddhism cannot have advanced to any considerable extent. The cave hermi- 
tages, peculiar to the Buddhists, appear to exist in many other parts of S. India; in the Deccan^i 
and even near Madras. In a hill about a mile to the east of Chingleput there is a cave now 
made into a Linga temple, but which was evidently intended for a Buddhist hermit's cell, and many 
of the curious caves and monolith temples at Seven Pagodas appear to have been originally made 
for the same purpose*). At Amarfevati and at Seven Pagodas^) there are inscriptions of a few words 
each, which are written in a character precisely similar to that used in the cave inscriptions near 
Bombay. It is tolerably certain that these last belong to the first century before and the first and 
second centuries after the Christian era. There is not, however, a S. Indian inscription which can 
be accepted as genuine with a date before the 5th century of the Christian era, though one or two 
(without dates) exist which may be safely attributed to the fourth century A. D. The earliest 
inscriptions belong to three dynasties, the Calukya of Ealyanapura in the Deccan, to a nameless 
dynasty which ruled the country (Ve/igi) between the Krishna and Godavari before the middle of the 
seventh century A. D., and to the Cera dynasties which ruled the modern Mysore, Salem, Coimbatore 
and part of the Malabar coast. These three classes of inscriptions present alphabets which, though 
well marked, are merely varieties of the Cave and Sah character, and it is, therefore, impossible to 
suppose that the civilization now prevailing in S. India but which took its rise in the North origi- 
nally, can have commenced to work on the South before the earlier centuries of the present era. 

1) Fa-Hian (A. D. 400) mentions only one Buddhist establishment (? EUora) in the Deccan, and mentions that it was very 
difficult to Yisit S. India in his time. (Beal's "Trayels of Buddhist Pilgrims," pp. 139-141). 

-) Dr. Biihler has ascertained that the Jains are the heretical Buddhists excommunicated at the first CoanclL 

3) J. As. Soo. of Bombay. V., pp. 117 ffg. 

4; Hiouen-Thsang appears to haye considered Conjeveram (Kien-tchi=Eanci, which inscriptions prove to be more oorreot 
than the Brahmanical fiction K&nci) to have been the Southern limit of Indian Buddhism in his day (o. 640 A. D.). As the 
Brahmanical system, of 9<^^kAf <^ sprung up in the next half century, this must have been near the most flourishing period of 8. 
Indian Buddhism, yet Hiouen-Thsang's lamentations oyer the decayed state of his religion are perpetnaL 

5) V. Tripe's "Photographs of the Elliot Marbles etc." (obi. Po., Madras, 1858), and Trans. R. As. 8. ii. 

— 13 — 

In the tenth and eleventh centuries northern influences commenced again to prevail in parts of 
the Deccan, and introduced the Devanagari alphabet which has there assumed forms peculiar to the 
South of India. 

In this chapter I shall consider the different forms of the letters in use at different periods as 
proved by inscriptions, confining myself entirely to the forms of the letters. But as the history 
of the expressions of the phonetic elements of the Dravidian languages is a matter of importance 
even in palaeographical questions, all material that could be discovered relating to this subject 
will be found collected in an Appendix (B). 

The derivation of the South-Indian Alphabets (except the Vatteluttu) may be represented as 
follows in a tabular form: 

B. c. 250 S. Afoka character 

K. D. 1 






Old Grantha 



W. C&lukya E. CAlukya 

J I 



1800 Old Tulu-Malayftlam 



Old Telagn 

1600 Tula Malav&lam Grantha Canarese 


Old Nandi-N&gari 

The names that I have given to the different characters in use in S. India at different periods, 
are mostly derived from the names of the dynasties under which they obtained currency; for a 
change of dynasty in S. India generally brought about a change of even such details as the form 
of official documents, and these constitute almost the entire palaeographic material existing from 
the earlier times. 

UThe Gave inscriptions and the character used for them etc. are discussed in the Bombay Journal: I. pp* 488-448 (Cayes 
of Beira and Bajah near Karli, by Westergaard); II. pt. ii., pp. 86-87 (General Description of all the Oayes, by Dr. J. Wilson); 
III. pp. 71-108 (Bird); IV. pp. 132-4 (Inscriptions at Salsette, by Steyenson); pp. 840-379 (Second Memoir, by Dr. Wilson); 
y. pp. 1-84 (K&nheri Inscriptions, by Steyenson); do: pp. 85-57 (N&sik Care Inscriptions, by the same); do: pp. 117-128 
(Caye-temples etc. in the Nizam's Dominions, by Bradley); do: pp. 151-178 and 426-428 (Sahy&drl Gayes, by Steyenson); do: 
pp. 836-848 (Gayes at EooWee in Malwa, by Impey); do: pp. 548-578 (Gayes of B&gh in Rftth, by the same); YI. pp. 1-14 
(K&nheri Inscriptions, by E. W. West); do: pp. 116-120 (K4nheri Topes, by the same); do: pp. 157-160 (Excayatlons at 
Kinheri, by the same); YII. pp. 87-52 (Nftsik Gave Inscriptions, by E. W. and A. A. West); do: pp. 58-74 (Ajanta Inscriptions, 
by Bhau D&ji); do: pp. 118-131 (Junagar Inscriptions, by Bhau DAji); VIII. pp. 222-224 (Bedsa Gaye Inscriptions, by A. A. 
West); do: pp. 225-233 (Gaye and Sah Numerals, by Bhau DAji); do: pp. 284-5 (Inscription at Jusdun, by the same). 

2) Specimens of this character are to be found in the Bengal Journal and in Cunningham's '^Reports.'* (I. p. 94 etc) 

14 — 


Of the South-Indian alphabets, the most important from eyery point of view are the T^Iugu 
and Canarese. The parts of the Peninsula where these characters have been developed have been 
of the greatest importance in the political and literary history of the South, and chronologically 
they are the first. 

The earliest documents existing belong to the Telugu Country comprising the deltas of the 
Krishna and Godavari, where also, at Amaravati, the most important Buddhist remains in the 
South, have been found. The origin of this kingdom does not probably go back beyond the second 
century A. D., for it is not mentioned in Ptolemy or by the Periplus of the Red Sea by the name 
found in the inscriptions — Vengidega — or even by the later name Andhra used by Hiouen-Thsang 
(7th century*>). The names and dates of the kings are quite uncertain, for only two grants of this 
dynasty appear to be in existence, and one of these is almost entirely illegible. The dates they 
bear, are also, like those of all early inscriptions, merely the year of the king's reign, and this is 
not referred to any era. This dynasty was supplanted in the latter half of the seventh century 
A. D. by a branch of the Calukyas established at Ealyana about the beginning of the fifth century 
A. D. and which is the first historical dynasty of the Deccan. 

Taking Fa-Hian's account of the Deccan (400 A. D.) it is excessively improbable that the history 
of that part will ever be traced back to an earlier date. 

A. The Vengt alphabet. {Plates i., ii. and xx., xxi.) 

Compared with the Cave character the Vengi alphabet presents little development, and I think 
that this fact justifies the date I have assigned to the Specimen given in Plates xx. and xxi.^> 

In & the curl at the foot which distinguishes this letter from the short a is extended, and this 
is a peculiarity which appears only in this character. 

1) There is not the least mention of any Telugu kingdoms in the A^oka inscriptions. Probably that part of India was not 
then ciyilized at all, but inhabited by wild hill-tribes. 

SJ That the dynasty, to which the inscription giTon in Plates xx. and xxi. belongs, preceded the C&lnkyas was first pointed 
oat by Sir W. Elliot in the Madras Journal (Vol. xi. pp. 802-6). The capital (Vengi) appears to haye entirely yanished; it 
is said to haye been the place now called Pedda Yengi or Yegi in the Krishna District, but there are seyeral places of the 
same name in the neighbourhood. As in the Telugu Mah&bh&rata which belongs to the twelfth century A. D. Bajahmundry 
is called the Nayakaratnam of Yengide^a, the old capital must haye been deserted long before that time. Hiouen-Thsang 
(iii., pp. 105-110) calls the small kingdom that he yisited **An-ta-lo* (Andhra) and the capital— *P'ing-k'i-lo*. It appears to 
me that this is intended for Yengt; the *lo* being merely the locatiye suffix *-ld* of the Telugu nouns, naturally mistaken 
by the worthy Chinese pilgrim monk for a part of the word. Julien*s suggestion 'Yinkhila* only fails in there not being the 
slightest trace of such a place. The -t in Yengt is uncertain ; it occurs both short and long in the inscriptions. 

* Andhra* is properly the name of the country between the two riyers, and only became synonymous with 'Telugu* owing 
to that kingdom being the natiye place of the writers in and on Telugu in the twelfth and following centuries. 


— 15 — 

The perpendicular strokes on the left sides of j and b are here curved, as are the top and 
bottom lines of 9, 

V in the second inscription to which I have referred, is represented by a triangular form dis- 
proportionately large compared with the other letters, and thus very near the Cave form. 

The suffixed forms of the vowels differ somewhat from those in the Cave character. 

i which is in the last represented by a semicircle open to the left is here open towards the top 
of the consonant which it follows or is united to it ; 1 which was originally represented by a semi- 
circle open above and attached to the consonant, or by a semicircle open to the right is here re- 
presented by a curl which marks the long vowel very clearly. 

t which was originally marked by a semicircle open at the bottom, and under the consonant 
it follows, is here represented by a highly characteristic curved form which does not appear in 
any other alphabet. 

In the compound consonants the second and third letters still retain their complete original 
form. The superscript r still preserves the straight line of the original r of the Agoka inscriptions. 

r is here represented by a form that occasionally occurs in the inscriptions of the W. CS-lukyas 
up to the end of the sixth century, viz., with a short loop turned to the l^. In the E. Calukya 
deeds the loop is generally turned to the right, if it is not complete. 

Final m is represented by a small m less than the other letters, which is also peculiar to 
the Vengi character. The existence of a distinct sign for upadhmaniya (x) is especially worthy 
of notice, as proving that the Sanskrit alphabet was in the fourth century A. D. already adapted 
to suit the niceties of the Grammarians. 

As in the Cave inscriptions, so also here, we find that a small cross-stroke or thickening of the 
end of the line is made in all cases where the letters begin with a perpendicular stroke downwards. 

This has, no doubt, arisen from the necessity of marking clearly the end of the line, especially 
in inscriptions on stone, but developed in the course of time it has become the angular mark V^ 
above some Telugu and Canarese consonants which has been strangely imagined to be the short 
vowel a. This error was started by the first Telugu Grammar by A. D. Campbell^), but has been 
constantly repeated down to the present time without any reason at all^). 

B. Western Cdlukya. (Plates iii., iv. and xxii.) 

The earliest specimen of the Western Calukya character is a grant by Pulakegi dated 5. 411 
(or A. D. 489), and of which an abstract is given in the Journal of the R. Asiatic Society'). The 
earliest I can give are, however, two grants on copper plates dated 608 and 689 A. D. respectively. 

^) Second edition (1820) p. 3. The error is probably of native origin as this mark is oalled in Telugn— talakatta. 
S)See the last published Telngn G^rammar by the Rot. A. Arden (1878) p. 7 where it is oaUed a ^secondary^ form of a. 
3) Vol. ▼. pp. 848 flg. 

— 16 — : 

The first of these presents in the cursive forms of the letters unmistakable traces of a much wider 
use of writing than had occurred previously, and such as might be expected in a kingdom so 
flourishing and important as was that of the Calukjas in the beginning of the seventh century 
A. D.') There is every reason to believe that Buddhism was then more vigorous in the Deccan than 
perhaps any other part of Southern India. 

U The defeat of HarshaTardhana the King of Kanoj by a C&lnkya which it tatisfaetorilj establiihed by Cannlngham 
("Reports" i., pp. 280-282), shows the rapid growth in power of the CAlukyas of KalyAnapura. This defeat was not, however, 
by Vikram&ditya (as Genl. Cunningham states) but by Saty&^raya his father, as is proTod by several inscriptions. For the 
first (608 A. D.) see pi. xxii. The second (in possession of a Jain &cArya at Hyderabad) has: 9i*t~P^lAli^0fimahAr&jasya prapautraA 
.... 9^'K^^^i^AP™AP*'i^^^'^t^All<L^^A™A^^'Ai<'B7<^ pautraA samarasamsaktasakalottarapathefTara^rt-HarshaTarddhanaparA^ 
kramopalabdhaparamegvaranftmadheyasya Saty&^rayaQrtprithiytraUabha .... priyatanayaA etc. The Srd (photographed 
in the Mysore collection) has nearly the same phrase: .... ^rt-Harshararddhanapar&jayopalabdhaparamefYar&para- 
n&madheyaA Baty&frayaQrtprithiTtTallabhamah&dhir&japarameQyaras etc. This defeat mast be put near the end of the 6th 
century. The genealogy of the dynasty of these kings was first given by Sir W. Elliot in the London Asiatic Sodety^e 
Journal; and his paper was afterwards reprinted with corrections in the Madrtu Journal (Vol. vii., pp. 198-211). With 
a few additional corrections required by inscriptions since discovered, and some of which were pointed out by Lassen (I., A. 
K. iv.), the table is as follows:— 

Jay asimha 


Pulake^i-Vallabha or Polake^i appears as reigning in (• ^^1 (^^^ ^* I^>) 

Ktrttivarml^PrithivlvalUbha I.. 

Mangalt^a (ascended the throne 666 A. D.) 

Baty&fraya-^rtprithivtvallabha (or 8. vallabhendra) 

Kubja-Yishnuvarddhana (Bastem C&lukyas. See next 
table, pp. 19-20) was probably reigning in 622 A.D. 

YikramAditya L? began to reign g. 514 (592-618 A. D.)i) 

YinayAditya-Yuddhamalla I. 

Y^ay&ditya began to reign {!. 617 (695 A. D.) 

Yikram&ditya II. * • * * 

began to reign Q. 655 (783 A. D.) 

KtrttivarmA II. 

Ktrttivarm& III. 


So far the flourishing older dynasty of the C&lukyas, which after Yikramftditya II. appears to have been for a time almost 

overthrown by feudatories such as the R&shtrakAta, K&labhurya, and Y&dava chiefs, and the history of this kingdom is, thus, 
very obscure for the eighth and ninth centuries. With Tailapa the restorer of the C&lukya power in the later dynasty, all 
once more becomes tolerably certain, especially as regards the dates of the reigns. 

1) Bombajf Journal, iii., 206. He appears also to have been called Ylkram&ditya-Satyftfraya. 

— 17 — 

The first of the two alphabets given (PL iii.) shows greater development than the second (PL iv.) 
which is nearly a century later in date. It, however, represents a different hand to the other; the 
first being from the north (southern Mahratha country)^ whereas the last is fromthe extreme south 
of the Galukya kingdom (the EamtLl district), and is therefore influenced by the Cera character 
as a comparison with PL ii. will show'). 

It is,' however, to be remarked that inscriptions in an older, square type of character which 
belong to this dynasty and are of the end of the sixth or beginning of the seventh century, are 
still in existence. The character given by plates iii. and xxii. may therefore be taken as the 
later hand used in the Deccan in the seventh century. Both hands present a feature common 
to all the inscriptions of the western Calukyas (cfr. PL iv.) but which does not occur in any others, 
a marked slope of the letters to the right. The eastern Galukya character is, on the other hand, 





I • 

yyit&ditya (Vikram&ditya, Saty&^raya) m. Bonta Devt (9. 895-919=978-997 A. D.) Beatorer of the dynasty. 

Tailabhiipa-Vikramftditya III. 

Saty&^raya m. Ambik& Deyt 

(P 5. 919-980=997-1008 A. D.) 

D&sayarmft m. Bhagavatt DoTt. 

VibhuTikrama-Vikram&ditya IV. 

(? fi. 930-940=1008-1018 A. D.) 


Jayasimha (Jagadekamalla) 

(? {. 940-962=1018-1040 A.D.) 

Bome^yara Deya (Trailokyamalla, 
Ahayamalla) I. (P^ 962-991=1040-1069 A.D.) 

Somegyara Deya II. (Soyi or Soyi Deya) 

(? 9. 991-296=1069-1076 A. D.) 

Vikram&ditya V. (Kaliyikrama) 
(^ 998-1049=1076-1127 A. D.) 

Some^yara Deya III. (Bhiiloka-malla) 
{q. 1049-1060=1127-1188 A. D. 

(9. 1060-1072=1188-1160 A. D.) 

Tailapa IL (TrailokyamaUa) 

(^ 1072-1104=1150-1182 A.D.) 

Vtrasome^yara IV. (Tribhuyanamalla) 
(g. 1104-1111=1182-1189 A. D.) 

1) Madrtu Jovmalj yii. p. 198 and n. This grant is now, apparently, in possession of the Royal Asiatic Society of London. 
V Cfr. especially the sabordinate forms of &, t., d as affixed to consonants. 


— 18 — 

remarkably square and upright ; tliis distinction is quite sufficient, after 600 A. D., to show the 
origin of an inscription. 

The alphabet giyen in PI. iii. shows the beginning of the change in writing subscript vowels 
which afterwards formed the chief difference between the Telugu-Canarese alphabets on the one 
hand, and the Grantha on the other — a tendency to bring the marks for ^, § and 6 from the side 
of the consonant to which they are attached to the top, and again to bring the mark for a sub- 
script form from underneath the consonant to its right side. Thus in PL iii. there are two forms 
of e, (cfr. bho, yo) and also of u. The character in PI. iv. uses almost universally the older form 
(cfr. ku, pu, ru in PI. iii. and ku, tu, etc. in PI. iv.). 

Only the cursive forms of a and a occur in the inscriptions of the western Calukyas as far as 
they are known to me, and this again distinguishes them from those of the eastern dynasty which 
preserve most generally the older forms of these letters up to the middle of the tenth century, 
though we find both forms co-existing in inscriptions of the eighth and ninth centuries. 

In PL iii. we find the cursive form of kh which does not occur in the Ealinga inscriptions till 
at least a century later. So again the same remark holds good of j and 1. The cursive form of 
the last letter seems to have prevailed in all the S. Indian alphabets by the tenth century. 

Ch. appears at the time of the oldest South Indian inscriptions to have had the form of M 
(cfr. pi. iv. cch); in the modern alphabets this is quite lost, and this letter has the ordinary form 
of 6 with the addition of a small stroke underneath, such as marks the aspirate in qj, ^ etc. 

Interesting as the inscriptions of the western Calukyas are historically, owing to the syn- 
chronisms with events in the history of northern India that they exhibit, they are but of little 
importance in the literary history of the south of India; for it is certain that the kings of 
Ealyanapura always favored the culture of the north. 

With the temporary fall of this dynasty the western Calukya alphabet appears to have gone 
entirely out of U8e*>. 

C. Eastern Cdlukya. (Plates iv.*, v. and xxiv., xxv.) 

In the early history of the Dravidian part of India, this dynasty is of the greatest importance, 
but as yet no account of it has been published. It succeeded the Vengi kings some time in 
the seventh century, not long after the famous defeat of Harshavardhana by Satya^raya of 
Ealyanapura, and was founded by his younger brother^). 

1) Beyeral of the Inscriptions of this earlier dynasty haye already been pnblislied in the Journal of the R. Asiaiie Society 
of London, and in the Bombay Journal. (See for the last: Vol. ii., pp. 1-12, pp. 268-2; Vol. iii. pp. 208-218. The first 
of the grants described belongs to the reign of VgayHditya, and is dated, q, 627=A. D. 705. The second is dated in the tenth 
year of Vgay&ditya; the third appears to belong to a feudatory). Facsimiles of some from the sixth to about the fourteenth 
century are given in the "Collection of Photographic Oopies of Inscriptions in Dharwar and Mysore** published by the Committee 
of the Architectural Antiquities of Western India. 

2) The dynasty is given as follows in a number of inscriptions which I have been able to consult; nearly all of which (an 
unparalleled circumstance in India) give the number of years that the several kings reigned. A. (firom MasuHpatam) d» 5th 

— 19 — 

The earliest inscription I have seen, is a grant by the first sovereign Yishnuyardhana; it is on 
copper-plates and was found in the Vijayanagaram Zamindary in 1867 (PI. xxiv.). Except in 
regularity and neatness, the character of the writing of this document differs very little from 
that already described as the Vengt character, and does not exhibit any cursive forms; these 
first appear in the latter part of the seventh century. 

year of YishnuTardhana II. B. (in the NeUore Sub-Colleotor's Offioe on fire plates) oontains a grant by TuddhamaUa (about 
950). G. on five plates (P the Gtodftyart Collector's Office) d. q. 867=945 A. D., being in the reign of Ammarftja. D. a grant 
of Kulottnnga-Cola-DeTa, d, q. 1001 = 1079 A. D. E. a grant by Ealotturaga son of Yikrama-Cola-DeTa, d, 9. 1056 = 1 184 A. D. 
The nnmber of years each king reigned follows in ( ) his name. Those names which are not of actual sovereigns of Yengi 
are in spaced type. 

KtrttiYarm& (see aboTO, p. 16 n.) 


Kabja-YishnuTardhana I. (18) about 680 A. D. 

JayasimhaTallabha I. (80)1) 

Indrabhattftraka (Indrarlija D.) 

Bl^anandana-YishnuTardhana II. (9) ^) 
Hangi(-yuTar&ja D.) (25) 

(1) JayasinihaTaUabha II. (IS) 

(2) Kokkili (Kaikkili) (6 months) 

(8) Yishnuyardhana lU. (87)3) 

(gaktivarmft-) YgayAdityabhatt&raka I. (18) 
YishnuYardhana lY. (80)4) 

Yijay&ditya-Karendra-Hfigarftja II. (48) 

Kali-YishfiuYardhana Y. (1 year 6 months) 5), 

Gun&nka-Ygay&ditya IIL (44) 


Yikramftditya Tnyarllja 

i)B. D. E. make Jayasimha reign 88 years. 

2) A. ''9^^k^^^i^<^f°^^9A^ pranapt& C^^Bhnuyarddhanamah&r&jasya napt(&) 9''^^7^b^*'*^'^^^1^^^^^°^^^^pAJ^B7A 

priyabhr&tur anekayuddh&lanki^itafartraBye 'ndrabhatt&rakasya priyatanayaA ^rtm&n YishnuYarddhanamah&rijaA" etc D. 
makes Indrabhatt&raka reign for seven days. 

8)D. has: *tasya (i. e. KokkileA) jyeshto bhr&t& tam ucch&tya saptatrimfat. 

4) D. E. make his reign last 86 years. 

6)C. K have: dvyardhavarsh&ni; B.'A8ht&da9a m&s&(n); D.— dvyardhavarsham. 


— 20 — 

The chief distinctions between the characters used for the Western and Eastern Ealinga^) in- 
scriptions have already been given. As the two countries were under branches of the same royal 
family about the same periods, it is convenient to call the respective characters after the two dyna- 

CMakya-Bhtma (SO) 

I I 

Eollabhiganda-Vijay&ditya (6 monthB)!) 

Ammarftja (7). 


Tikram&ditya (11 months) 

T&|apa (1 month) V 

Tnddhamalla (7) 


Ammar&ja (25) 

P ♦ • ♦ ♦ (8)*) 

P ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ (25) 

gaktiyarmft (12) 

Yimalftditya (7) 

Vimalftditya was sucoeeded by Rdjar&ja Cola owing (it is statod) to an intermarriage of the Co^aB and Ealinga Cftlnkyas, 
which is perhaps the faot. His son KulottnTiga suoceeded him in 1064 A. D. (.IfadfCM Journal^ xiii., Pt. 2, p. 40), and as 
R&jarftja reigned 41 years (D. and E.) this makes the date of the end of Yimalilditya's reign to be 1023 A. D. Both D. and 
E. expliciiUy term R&jar&ja son of Yimal&ditya. 

0. carries the genealogy down to Ammar&ja, and it is dated 945 A. D. in his reign. The grants D. and E. would make 
the beginning of his reign four and six years respeotiyely after this date. The discrepancy is not, however, suffioient to 
throw doubts on the list giyen above, and is probably owing to the uncertainty of the (aka era. It is obyious that the number 
of entire years of most reigns only being given, the list cannot be absolutely correct. 

The total of the reigns of sovereigns of this dynasty amounts to above 393 years, which brings the first year of Eubja 
Yishnuvardhana to about 630 A. D., and as his elder brother Saty&^^raya reigned in Kaly&napura about 600 A. D., this date 
is by no means improbable. It is nevertheless impossible to suppose that the Kalinga Cftlukyas were established in the old Yengi 
kingdom for some years after that date. Thus the grant printed in pi. zxiv. was found far north (in Yizagapatam), and it 
seems probable that the Cftlukyas first seized the northern part of the Telugu sea-coast, and then conquered the south. 
The best initial date, at present, for this dynasty will thus be the latter part of the seventh century A. D. 

1) Ealinga, or rather Tri-kalinga is a very old name for the greater part of the Telugu Coast on the Bay of Bengal. The 
latest mention I know, is in the grant of Yuddhamalla (already referred to as B.), which says of this king (about 950 A. D.) 
'^YengibhuvaA patir abhil(t) TrikalingakotteA*' (4 line 3). Hiouen-Thsang also mentions Ealinga (7th cent.). Pliny (vi., 67 
of the edition published by Teubner) says: * Insula in Gange est magnee amplitudinis gentem contlnens unam, nomine Modo« 
galingam." Dr. Caldwell (Gomp. Gr. pp. 64-5) has strangely taken this to be for the old Telugu *Modoga and linga* and to 
mean '^three-lingas**, and has, thus, accepted the native etymology of ^Telugu.* There can be no doubt that it is merely UAdu- 

1) E. has eleven months. 

2)D.— T&dapa. 

S) D. tarn ucchfttya digftd Ammar&j(&)nujo RftjabhtmaA dvllda^a varsh&ni. 

4} In D. only the years are clearly legible. E. has after Ammarftja: ta(j)jyeshto D&n& * * as trim^at; tatputra {h) (akti- 
varm& dv&da^a; tadanujaVimalftdityas sapta; tatputro B&jarftjadeva ekacatv&rim^t; tatputra(^) ^rtEulottimgaoofadeva 
ekonapano&^at etc. 

— 21 — 

sties of the C&lukyas; but it must be recollected that there is no real connection between them 
palffiographically, except so far as their common origin through the ^Cave character' is in question. 

The decided tendency of the eastern C&lukya character to preserve archaic forms, clearly 
distinguishes it from the character used under the western dynasty. This last seems to have 
been affected by the North-Indian early Deyan&gart, as it almost copies the horizontal stroke at 
the top of letters used in the latter. It also uses cursive forms to a large extent. 

The Plates iii., iv., xxii. and xxiv. if compared, will show how correct is the account by Hiouen- 
Thsang (about 640 A. D.) of the writing used in his time in the Deccan and on the sea-coast. 
He 8ays*>: «'La langue et la prononciation different beaucoup de celles de Tlnde centrale; mais la 
forme des caracttoes est en grande partie la m§me". 

All unquestionable grants by kings of both the Galukya dynasties that I have met with are in 
Sanskrit. The later they are, the greater is the neglect of the minute rules for orthography laid 
down by the Sanskrit grammarians, especially as regards the use of the bindu. 1 shall give a 
summary of the results that I have ascertained, further on in describing the modem alphabets 
used in the Telugu and Canarese countries, (p. 24.) 

D. Transitional. (Plates vi., vii. and xxvL) 

What I have termed the transitional period, or from 1000 — 1300 A. D. marks the rise and 
most flourishing period of the North-Dravidian literatures. During the whole of this time the 
older kingdoms decayed rapidly, feudatories became more or less independent, and changes in 
the limits of territory subject to the different sovereigns were perpetual. The encouragement of 
literature was, however, general, and this period is also marked by the rise of several religious 
sects. The result, palseographically, was that by 1300 A. D. the old Telugu Canarese alphabet 
which was in use from the coast of Canara to Rajahmundry, presented scarcely any varieties or 
differences of form of the letters suj£cient to justify a distinction being made. From 1300 
A. D. up to the present time, however, a marked divergence has arisen between the alphabets 
used by the Telugus of the coast and the Canarese people; and this divergence has been much in- 
creased since the introduction of printing in the course of the present century. 

The feudatories which overthrew the western Calukya kingdom appear to have been partial to 

Kalinga or Three Kalingas, and has nothing to do with iinga. The native etymology of 'Telngu* first ooonrs, I belieye, in 
the Kftrik& of Athanran&cftrya who copied and quotes Hemacandra, and therefore could not have liyed before the thirteenth 

'Telagn' is eyidently from a common Drayidian root V^tel which means Ho be clear or bright*, and the Trilinga theory is 
certainly not supported (as Dr. Caldwell appears to think) by Ptolemy's Triglypton or Trilingon (yii., 2, 28), which is most 
probably a copyist's error for TrikaUngon. At aU events a derfyatiTe of *glypho' could never mean Unga. Cunningham 
(* Ancient Geog^phy of India,** p. 619) recognises three Kalingas, and rightly doubts the name having anything to do 
with Unga. 

1) '^Voyages des P^lerins Bouddhlstes," iii., p. 105. 

— 22 — 

the N. Indian culture, and used the Devanagari character for their grants*^. The Colas (who 
succeeded the Eastern Calukyas) preserved the indigenous character and used Sanskrit for the 
northern part of their territories, but soon gave these up for TamiL Thus, at the time of the 
Muhammedan invasions and settlements in the peninsula about, the beginning of the fourteenth 
century, the use of the South Indian alphabets was confined to the extreme south of the peninsula, 
and did not extend much beyond the present northern limits of the Madras Presidency. That the 
Telugu and Canarese alphabets and literatures did not become entirely obsolete, is owing to the 
considerable power of the Vijayanagara dynasty in the 14th, 15th and early part of the 16th 
centuries, and to the steady patronage of South-Indian Hinduism by the kings of this dynasty 
during that period of time^). It is owing to this influence that many inscriptions from about 1500 
to 1650 A. D. in the North-Tamil country and even still further south are in the Telugu character. 
This is especially noticeable in the old Tondainadu (or neighbourhood of Madras), and it is to the 
same influence that must be attributed the numerous settlement of Telugu Brahmans over greater 
part of the Tamil country, and especially in Tanjore. 

The transitional type of the Telugu-Canarese alphabet differs from the EalingarCalukya by the 
admission of a number of new forms which eventually became permanent; they are used, however, 
concurrently with the older forms except in a few instances. 

The exclusive new forms of letters are: 1) o; in this the top is opened out. 2) dh; in which the 
old square form is now provided with a '^ at the top, 3) and hh. This last was evidently written 
in the alphabet of 945 A. D. by two strokes, the second being made from the first, and prolonged 
down in a curved form; in the transitional alphabet which began in the next century these two 
strokes are separated. 4) q has a more cursive form than in the alphabet of the previous century. 

As in the alphabet of 945 A. D. there is little distinction between the long and short i super- 
script. In the older alphabets the long i is marked by a curl in the left end of the circle which 
marks this vowel, e. g. A(i) and 6^(i), but from the tenth century this distinction is almost lost. 

In the eleventh century the modern form of the subscript u begins to appear, and is used far 
oftener than the old form written underneath the preceding consonant; but the reverse is the case 
with the long d which rather preserves the old form. In the next century the modern form of tl 
(to the right of the preceding consonant) prevails nearly universally, but the old form of the short 
u is by no means entirely disused. The secondary forms of e and ui and ai are very nearly the 
same as in the alphabet of 945 A. D., i . e. written at the top of the preceding consonant, whereas in 
the earlier forms they are on the left side. and au are also very little changed in form. 

It is necessary also to notice the changes in the way of distinguishing ph from p. In the earliest 
form (pi. i.) this is done by the upper end of the stroke on the right side being curled round to the 
left; in the later alphabet of the tenth century there is a loop on the middle of the inner side of 


1 ) I shaU for this reason notioe them when describing^ the Tarieties of the Devandgart character used in the South of India, 

2) The Telugu poet Bhattamiirti was encouraged by Narasaraya, and Allasanni Peddanna by Krishnaraya. {^Madras 
Journal,'^ v. pp. 863, 4.) 


23 — 

this stroke. In the alphabet of the next century this loop has become a slanting stroke across 
the upright stroke, and finally about a century later this is underneath the middle of the letter. 

The transitional stage continued till the end of the thirteenth century A. D., and includes a 
period of great literary activity not only as regards the Telugu and Ganarese languages, but also 
in Sanskrit. The reforms of the Yedantist Bamanuja belonged to the twelfth century, and he 
obtained great influence in Mysore where he converted the sovereign (a Tsldava of the southern 
dynasty of Dwarasamudra) from the Jain persuasion. This king appears to have encouraged 
Telugu literature (because, no doubt, it was thoroughly brahminical and orthodox), as much as 
his immediate predecessors had encouraged the Ganarese'); and Nannaya Bhatta (a native of the 
east coast) composed under his patronage (about 1180 A. D.) a Telugu Grammar in Sanskrit, and 
b^an a translation of the Ramayana which was finished by another Brahman, also a native of the 
east coast, a little later^>. These events are nearly contemporaneous with the final ruin of the western 
C&lukya dynasty which fell in 1182, and then the Yildavas became independent both in the north 
(Devagiri) and south, and thus shared the greater part of the territory of the old Gera and Galukya 


E. The old a/nd modem TelugvrCanarese Alphabets 

(Plates viii., ix. and xxviii.; 

The next stage in the development of the northern Dravidian alphabets is the Hala-kanada and 
old Telugu, between which it is impossible at present to establish any distinction. This alphabet 
dates from the end of the thirteenth century, and the distinction between it and the character I 
have termed transitional consists merely: 1) in the disuse of the few remaining older forms which 
I have described in the last section as being found in that alphabet, and the exclusive use of the 
new forms; 2) in the absence of distinction between d anddA, p and ph and some other aspirates; 
3) in the absence of marks to distinguish t and f . 

As will be easily understood in the case of an alphabet like this which was in use from the 
Ganara coast to the mouths of the Krishna and Oodavari, there were several slight varieties or 
hands, but it would take far too much space to notice here more than a few points, even though 
such details are of interest as partly subsisting up to the present time. 

The earliest important variation, I have noticed, is in the form of t. About 1300 this letter 
appears in inscriptions on the west (or Ganara) coast with a double loop ^, whereas on the 
east coast, and the central territory between the two, the form ^ with a single loop is preferred. 
In the modern Telugu and Ganarese alphabets, this is exactly reversed. Again the Ganarese 

1) See Mr. KitteFs preface to his edition of Kegir&Ja's Canarese Grammar. 

S^This poet (P) was named Tikkanna; he died in 1198 A. D. (Brown's ''Cyclic Tables** Madras edition, p. 58). Kftgavarmft 
the author of the Canarese Prosody was also a Telogu f^om Veng^i; his date is, however, uncertain. (Hr. Kittel.) 


form oi k (^ was originally the most general one^^ whereas the modern Telugu ^ was confined 
in the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to the northern part of the present Nellore 
district, where a very round hand has always prevailed. Owing to that part of the Telugu 
country haying been one of the earliest British possessions in Southern India, this hand was 
adopted as the model, on the introduction of Telugu printing in the beginning of this century at 
Madras. At present, the Ganarese is especially distinguished from the Telugu alphabet by the 
method of marking the long vowels i, e and 5, by the addition of a separate sign (—0 foUovring 
the consonant with the usual short vowel affixed; this is entirely wanting in Telugu. The earliest 
instance I have noticed is in a palm-leaf MS. of the first half of the sixteenth century A. D., 
but it does not occur in any old Sanskrit MSS. in the Ganarese character at all, nor commonly 
in Ganarese MSS. till much later. The Telugu method of marking the short and long e and o does 
not appear till the seventeenth century. About this period apparently owing to the revival of 
Sanskrit studies for a time, the distinction between aspirated and unaspirated letters becomes again 
usual, and has continued up to the present, though really alien to the Dravidian languages. It 
began much earlier in Telugu than in Ganarese, and even in the Sanskrit MSS. on grammar written 
in the latter character, it is but seldom made; a fact, which, by itself, proves the prevalence of 
oral teaching'). 

From the earliest inscriptions down to the latest, the gradual extension of the use of the 
bindu (0) is very remarkable, and appears a tolerably safe test of the age of a document. I 
shall therefore give briefly the results I have gathered. 

In the early inscriptions the Gera bindu is above the line, the Qalukya on the line; but after 
the twelfth or thirteenth century it is always, and in all S. Indian characters, written on the line. 
This i^ even the case in the Nandi-nagart, though here, it, by being in this position, renders the 
writing unsightly. 

As regards the employment of the bindu^ the broad rule is: the later the inscription, the more 
incorrect and indiscriminate is its use. In the earlier inscriptions it is seldom used for n, n, n, 
and m before a consonant of the same class in a word; but it is used for all these nasals except n, 
by the fifteenth century; and from that time to the present one occasionally finds md. The common 
practice of using the bindu to express all the nasals, even including a final m, which editors in 
Europe have copied from the more modern MSS. from N. India, is, therefore, a very old practice 
in the south, though it is most certainly erroneous according to the chief grammarians, and, 
therefore, as Profr. Whitney contends, is to be rejected, though convenient in practice*). It is 
hardly necessary to remark that the bindu is properly the sign of the unmodified nasal or anusvara. 


n Bee pi. xxTiii. 

>) Cfr. the alphabet glTen in pi. ix. I have already glTen a facsimile of a Ganarese Sanskrit MB. of about 1600 

A. D. in my edition of the Yaifigabr&hmana. The difference between the writing of MSS. of the fifteenth and sixteenth 

centuries is very slight; the body of the letters in the latter is not so large, or so round and close together. 

S)Proft>. Max Mailer (Hitopade^a, p. Till, and 8. Gr. pp. 6-7) allows it as a oonTcnient way of writing. 


— 25 — 

I have not noticed in any inscription the nasalized semi-vowel; it sometimes occurs in Telugu 
Yedic MSS. and then has the form of J\. Nor have I met with the ardh&nusyara to which some 
Telugu grammarians allude* ^ The es (r) of the Telugu inscriptions is now disused*). 

The use of visarga is generally incorrect in the inscriptions; it is seldom converted according 
to rule. In S. India the alternative allowed by the grammarians of assimilating visarga to a fol- 
lowing sibilant is almost universally accepted, and the reduplication of the sibilant then omitted. 
This is a common source of error in reading S. Indian inscriptions and MSS. The separation of 
the superscript r from the following consonant (as pronounced) above which it is written, begins 
about 1300 A.D. After 1350 it is always on the right hand, e.g. rka is written ^ (kr). By 1550- 
1600 A. D. the modern secondary form of e is always used, e.g. ve is written "3. (For the older 
form see pi. viii.) In the fifteenth century both forms co-exist; in the fourteenth the modern form 
begins to appear. 

Allusions to the current alphabets are almost as rare in the S. Indian mediaeval works as in 
the Sanskrit. Atharvanacarya (who cannot be earlier than the end of the twelfth or beginning of 
the thirteenth century) describes the transitional alphabet just as it was changing into the earliest 
modem form ("KarikaA" 29-32) «): 

29. h. paneayarg&dayo rarn&A Qankha-(a ^)9&mgA-(^ X)di8amnibh&A || 

80. tirjagrekh&yuja^ co 'rdhyam dandarekh&nYit& adhaA (h/ and \ ) | 
ta era oa dTitt7ft(A) syur ilrdhYam || 

81. pratham&8 tu tritty&(A) syus tritty&nte caturthak&A { 
rekh&dTayftdhodandena yttkt&(A) syur anun&Bik&A || 

82. miladdandadvayopetft^ prathamll paya*8mrit&^ | 
pilrnenda8ad£iQaA piirnas tv ardhendus tv ardhasannibliaA || 

There is much here very unintelligible, but the description of some of the letters clearly points 
to about 1200 A. D. The Canarese "Basavapurana" (of 1369 A. D.) mentions the Telugu, Cana- 
rese, Grantha, Tamil (Dr^vila), Lala (i.e. Lata or Gujarat) and Persian alphabets^). 

Nor is it quite clear what letters the medisBval grammarians considered to belong to the alpha- 
bet. Al-Birflni (who lived from 970-1039 A. D.)*> puts the number of Sanskrit letters at fifty; 
Nannaya Bhatta, in his Telugu Grammar (of the twelfth century), also puts the Sanskrit letters 
at fifty, the Prakrit at forty, and the Telugu at thirty-six *>. The commentators are, however, not 
agreed as to whether both x (ksh) and 1 are intended to be included among the Sanskrit letters ^>. 
Lassen ('^Indische Alterthumskunde'' iv. p. 796) takes the ^gveda 1 to be the fiftieth letter of 

1) T. App. A. 

<)ThiB letter is etymologioaUy of Bignifioanoe; and, therefore, cannot be neglected. 

S) 1 follow a transcript of the unique MS. in Mr. Brown's ooUeotion at Madras. 

4) I owe this reference to Mr. Klttel ; it occurs in ch. y. 

^) EWot, *Muhammedan Historians of India" (by Dowson) I. p. 42. 

^) '^AndhraQabdacint&mani", I. 14. iAjkjkh pano&^ad yarnM. 16. Prakrites tu te da^onH^ syuA. 16. 8hattri?7i9ad atra 
te. 17. Anye o& 'nuprayiyanti ^abdayogayaQ&t. {i.e. in Sanskrit or Prakrit words used in Telugu). 

7) Ahobala (18th century) says in his C. on the first of the Siltras quoted in the last note: *'Atra kecid a, & 

xa)ayar^sahitft ilshm&naf oa hala ity uoyante | mility^ pancft^ad yarn& bhayantt 'ti yadanti | . keshAticin mate 

..... layar^asyft 'grahanam ca sammatam II (MS.) 

— 26 — 

Al-Bir^ni; it may reasonably be doubted if that was the view held in India. The Canarese Gram- 
mar includes both x and l'>. 

The Vajrakriti and Gajakumbhakriti of Vopadeva (t «. k before k and kh, and before p and ph) 
very rarely occur in modem MSS.; they have the form of X &nd oo. The last occurs in only 
one inscription, as far as I know. (PL i.) The northern form (x) is also used sometimes. 


A. C§ra. {Plates ii., x., and xziiL) 

The Grantha, Modern Tamil, Malayalam and Tulu alphabets all have their origin in the Cera 
character, a variety of the ^Gaye character' which was used in the Cera kingdom during the early 
centuries A. D. From the third to the seventh century appears to have been the most flourishing 
period in the modem history of this kingdom; it then extended oyer the present Mysore, Coimbatore, 
Salem, Tondainadu, South Malabar and Cochin. It was, however, one of the three great old 
Dravidian kingdoms and existed already in the third century B. C. What civilization it had before 
the period referred to, there is no information; nor is there the least trace as yet of any inscrip- 
tion before the early centuries A. D. '> The existing inscriptions show that about the fourth or fifth 
century A. D., the rulers of this kingdom received the Jains with great zeal, and made most 
liberal endowments to them in the territory that constitutes the modem province of Mysore. 
There is much reason to believe that the alphabet found in the inscriptions of this kingdom is the 
source also of the alphabets of the inscriptions left by the mysterious Hindu civilization that once 
was powerful in Java and Sumatra and also in Indo-China. Who the first Indian missionary to Java 
was, does not appear, but it is historically certain that Buddhaghosa (fifth century) was the first 
who preached in Indo-China. It also seems excessively probable that the original Indian civilization 
of those countries was kept up by constant emigration there from S. India, owing to the bitter religious 
quarrels '> that arose in the seventh and eighth centuries on the preaching of Eumarilasvamin 
and Qankaracarya, and which ended in the entire destruction in India of modem Buddhism, one sect 
of by far the noblest religion that country ever produced. 

1) <'$abdamanidarpftna" (by Kr. Kittel) p. 11. 

S) The history of the C6ra kingdom is excessively obscnre, and will probably, always remain so. Like in most Indian 
kingdoms that hare preseryed an existence for several oentnries, there were, in all probability, many revolts of fendatoriefl and 
changes of dynasty; it is thos very little ose to accept the "KonKadesar&jakkal" as an authority, for it bears evident signs 
of being a very recent compilation from grants and local traditions most clumsily put together. It is translated in the 
Madras Journalj voL xiv. pp. 1 — 16. The most important investigation (as yet) respecting the C^ra kingdom is by Profir. 
Dowson (in Journal of the R. A. S. of London, voL viii. and also printed separately). 

3) KumArila and (ankara were both reactionary, and (if such summary judgments be allowed), the best explanation of the 
early decay of Buddhism in the South of India and Indo-China and Java is one which the Positive Philosophy suj^Ues, that 
the countries in question were not advanced sufficiently to allow of their receiving such a religion as Buddhism, and that the 
premature reception of it thus led at once to deterioration rather than progress. 

— 27 — 

The Cera alphabet changed but little during a considerable time; the earliest and latest authentic 
inscriptions which are in existence, and which belong to a period of about four centuries, show 
very few innovations. Two varieties of this character must be distinguished ; the first, which was 
in use in that part of « the Cera country which constitutes the modern Mysore and Coorg up to 
the final end of the kingdom which was conquered by the Colas about 877 A. D., and which then 
fell into disuse being soon supplanted by the western Calukya and Transitional characters; and 
the second which was used in Tondainadu (the neighbourhood of Madras) which formed part of 
the Cera kingdom till about the end of the seventh century when it fell under the Cd}as. This 
last alphabet then became under the new dynasty the medium if introducing brahmanical culture 
to the Tamil country* ^ . 

The earliest unquestionable inscription as yet known is that of which the alphabet is given in 
PL ii., and which has been published in facsimile in the Indian Antiquary*^; the date is about 
466 A.D. A later inscription of the same dynasty is also given in the same JoumaP^ Its date 
is, though not clearly put, as there is an obvious error of the engraver in omitting a letter in the 
date, beyond doubt. This runs (v. I 8) : "ashtanavatyuttareshu tchateshu gakavarsheshv atiteshu". 
The t in tchateshu is clear, and though »sha(t)' is entirely wanting, yet as 'shat' is the only possible 
numeral it must be read 698 (= 777-8 A. D.) The difference in character between the ali)habets 
of the two inscriptions is so slight that I have not thought it worthwhile to give both. 

1) In the third century B. C, the A^okft Edicts show that Eeralaputra (t. e. the Cera soYereign) was one of the great powers 
of the South. Ptolemj (2nd century A. D.) and the Periplns of the Red Sea (Srd century A. D.) proTC that this was stiU the 
case. Hiouen-Thsang (about 640 A. D.) does not mention this kingdom, but under the name of the kingdom of Konkanapura 
(the present Eonkana-halli) he describes a part of it ("P^lerins Bouddhistes" iii. pp. 146-9). The dynasty which the inscrip- 
tions mention extends ftrom the early centuries A. D. down to the ninth, but it was probably established by a feudatory revolt- 
ed against the older dynasty to which Agoka, and the classical authors refer. The Mercara grant (Mr. Richter*s) gives the 
kings as follows: 

1- Kongani (i.) (The eighth king of the so-called chronicle!) 

2. Kftdhava (i.) 

8- Ari-(t. e, Hari)Tarm& (The grant d. 247 A.D. is attributed to him!) 

4* Yishnugopa 

&• Hkdhava (ii.) 

B-Xongani (ii.) in 466 A. D. 
This would place Kongani (i.) about 850 A. D. 
The K&gamangala grant continues : 

7* Dnrrintta 

6< Hushkara 

9. 5rl-Vikrama 

10. Bhtl-Yikrama 

tiPrlthivt Kongani (?A.D. 727—777) 

There is a grant on stone in Kiggatnad (in Coorg) which mentions Satyftditya-KonginiTarmamahftr&j&dhirAja; it is dated 
l^rara year. The gaka date is not clear. 

There are however, many difficulties about the genealogy and succession which remain to be cleared up. It would be well 

to term this Hhe later G^ra dynasty*. 

2) Vol. I. The transcript needs some corrections. Jin&Iakke is clearly, "for the JinMaya" (Jain temple) and not ''for the 
destruction of the Jains," as the whole inscription is Jain in style (ofr. the mention of the Vasus). I have been able to 
examine the original plates of this very valuable document, through the kindness of the Rev. G. Riohter of Mercara. 

8) Vol. II. 165 ffg. See especially Dr. Eggeling's remarks (iii. pp. 154-2). 


— 28 — 

In PL z« I haye giyen the al^iabet of a Cera inscription which, if genuine, wonld be 
dated abont 247 A.D.) one of the oldest Indian grants known; it is, however, a forgery'^. As 
nerertheless even forged grants have their Talae as eridence, if not of facts, yet pabeographically, 
I allow this one a place. It shows the condition of the N. Cera character abont the tenth centory, 
which was then fast becoming assimilated to the Calnkya and Transitional alphabets of the North. 
This was no donbt owing to the conquest of the Cera kingdom by the Colas in the ninth century, 
and the separation which followed between the two divisions of the Cera kingdom, that above, and 
that below the Coimbatore Ghauts. The first became assimilated to the northern kingdoms, the 
latter had a new development under the Colas. Thus the old Cera alphabet of the north became 
superseded by the Telugu-Canarese, and that of the last developed into the Grantha-Tamij. This 
tendency appears to have existed in the eighth century; the fstii of the Ceras rendered it much 
more rapid. 

6) EaMem C^ra. {Plate xL) 

[ What I have termed the Eastem-Cera is of interest as being the source of the Cola grantha, 

and hence of the modem S. Indian Sanskrit alphabet. I have used the term *^Eastem-Cera'* 
rather to indicate the source from which it was derived, than with reference to the short reign 
of the Ceras over the searcoast of the North Tamil country, a fact perhaps questionable, because, 
as yet, not fully supported by the evidence of inscriptions. 

TMs alphabet was confined to the old Tondainadu or kingdom of Conjeveram'), and is an off- 
shoot of the early Cera before the development of the horizontal line at the top of the letters of 

1) The reftfons mre: >< e and bk open at the lop aa kere do nol occur before the tenth centaiy. 

<• n, kh, gh, n and j are also Bodem forms of the letters, and of about the sase date. 

^ Snbscript n is written in two ways, a practiee comparatiTely recent. 

«• The stroke in ph to distingnlsh ph from p is also late (abont lOth-llth centnry). 

^ The historical data contradict more or less those of other inscriptions. 

^' The {Jaka era was not ased so early as the third centnry. In the fifth centnry it is Tery nnnsnal. 

7- Lastly (to jndge from an impresiion) the plates are far too weU preeerred ; the letters are aU sharp and dear, 
this wonld not be the ease if the grant was engraTcd in the third centnry A. D. There are other gronnds, bnt these are, 
I think, snfBeient for rejecting this grant. 

S) The aeeonnt of the diTisions of this kingdom by F. W. Ellis [in his Paper on Mirasl Bight (pp. 51^9) edited by a P. Brown, 
Madras, 1S52] is stffl nnqnestionably the most Tslnable contribntion to a Indian Andent Geography that has been written. 
It is mnch to be desired that Mr. Ellis's papers be coUeeted and published in an accessible fora^ so as to be a lasting memo- 
rial of a truly great scholar. About the time that Bopp laid the foundations of the ComparatiTe Phflology of the Aryan 
languages, Ellis did the same for the Draridlan family [preface to (^mpbell*8 Telugu Orammar (1816) and *INssertations"]; 
he was the first to decipher and explain the grants to the Israelites of Cochin, and he did this in a way that is stiU a 
model (See Madras Journal, VoL ziii. part li, pp. 1—11). His labours to promote the study of Hindu Law and of Tamfl 
(annotated edition and translation of the Ku^al left unfinished, etc) are still of the highest Talue. He was also the first to 
study the 8. Indian inscriptions. He died (sccldentally poisoned through the carelessness of a natlTC seirant) whfle on an archa- 
logleal tour in the Madura Prorince. His monument (at Bamnad) has an inscription in ig»gitA and Taaul, the former of 
which runs: "Sacred to the memory of Francis Vniyte Ellis Eaq. of the Madras Ciril Serrice whose Talnable life was suddenly 
terminated by a fatal accident at this place on the 9th March 1819 in the 41 at year of his age. Uniting actirity itf nund 
with Tcrsatllity of genius he diq>layed the same ardour and happy sufficiency on whaterer his Taried talents were esiployed. 
CouTcrsant with the Hindoo Languages and Literature of the Peninsula, he was loTcd and esteemed by the Hatrves of 

— 29 — 

that alphabet; it is, therefore in origin, very near the Cave character; and the introduction of 
this alphabet into Tondainadu is, probably, to be placed about the fourth century. In the second 
century A. D. (as we know from Ptolemy) this country was inhabited by nomads ; and its settle- 
ment and the formation of a kingdom there was due to Cera influences. In the seventh century 
Hiouen-Thsang found a small kingdom of which Eangi (or Gonjeveram) was the capital. He calls 
it Ta-lo-pi-tcha or Dravida. The name of the family of kings of which inscriptions occur at Seven 
Pagodas (Mamalaippuram, the old port of Gonjeveram) was Pallava, and they appear to have 
been formidable enough to have been attacked by the Wesl^rn Galukyas about the beginning 
of the seventh century. Still later (about the eighth or ninth century) the country was conquered 
by the Golas who had revived again after a long eclipse. 

There can be no question that the caves and monoliths at Seven Pagodas, and in the neighbour- 
hood, are of Buddhist-Jain origin^ ^, the sculptures on the so-called rathas (monoliths) show (if any 
thing at all) a slight admixture of Qaiva notions, such as appear in the later Buddhism. Over several 
of the figures are, however, Vaishnava names (e.g. gri NarasimhaA) which ill-agree with the repre- 
sentations. In some of the caves are pure Vaishnava and Qaiva mythological scenes. Taking into 
consideratioE the fact that this place is not mentioned by Hiouen-Thsang together with the nature 
of the sculptures, the original work is to be attributed to Jains of about the fifth century, and the 
alphabet of the inscriptions corresponds with this date. But as the caves now exist, they have been 
subsequently extended and adapted to the worship of Qiva, or to the combined worship of Vishnu and 
Qiva in the same temple, which is so remarkable a feature in the older and unaltered temples in 
the neighbourhood of Madras^), and which can only be attributed to the influence of the Vedanta 
doctrine as preached by Qankarac&rya'). It is to the period of this adaptation that the dedicatory 
inscription, from which the alphabet in pi. xi. is taken, belongs. The king under whom it was done 
is termed 'lord of the Pallavas' (Pallavegvara) with the epithets '^victorious in battle" (ranajayaA), 
or "very fierce in battle" (atiranacandaA), and had, therefore, come under the northern brahmanical 
influence* J. 

with whom he assooiated intimately, and his kind and playfal disposition endeared him to his own conntrymen among whom 
he was distinguished no less by his capacity as a public servant than by a mind fraught with intelligence and aliye to eyery 
object of interest or utility. The College of Fort St. George which owes its existence to him is a lasting memorial of his reputa- 
tion as an Oriental Scholar, and this stone has been erected as a tribute of the affectionate regard of his European and 
Katire friends.*' 

Bo little interest in science is there in S. India, that this eminent man is chiefly recollected among the native Roman Catho- 
lics by some quasi-devotional poems in Tamil which are attributed to him. 

^)Mr. Fergusson long ago stated this {*BUtory of Architecture,** ii. pp. 502 ffg.) 

2) An often engraved temple of this description is the one at Seven Pagodas on the sea-shore, and washed by the waves at 
high tide; another is on the northern bank of the P&1&^ also near the sea and a few miles south of Seven Pagodas. There 
are the best examples that I know, but there are many others (often more or less altered) in the same neighbourhood. In the 
first the Vishnu cell is behind that in which the Linga is found; in the others I know, the two cells are side by side. There 
is a correct plan of the first temple in No. 6 of the large map in Major Carr*s book, and an incorrect one in pL xxiii. 

3) (lAnlc&i'^^'^i^y* '■'^B^ ^® P^^ A^ about 650-700 A. D. See my ''S&mavidhftnabr&hma^a" vol. I. pref. p. ii. n. He preached 
at Conjeveram, it is said. 

*•) The Qambhu of these inscriptions is shown by the sculptures to be Mahftdeva-^iva; one inscription mentions PAnrati. 

— 30 — 

The inscriptions in question are not dated; the earlier ones (which consist of merely a few 
words in explanation of the figures on the so-called rathas) are in a character very near to the 
Yengi and early Cera, but distinguished from them by a few important variations. The first of 
these is the use to a considerable extent of secondary forms of k^ e and o separated from the 
consonant to which they belong and follow in pronunciation!) thus ra, yi, ^a and ha occur in these 
words with the a separated only; and ka, bhil and ra both united to the consonant and also 
separate. To and no occur with the o separate. Besides these variations some of the letters, and 
especially g, show an approach to the grantha form. The position of the bindu (o) shows clearly 
a Cera, and not a Yengi or Clllukya original as I have already pointed out. (p. 24.) 

A still further development in the direction of the grantha forms is to be found in the inscrip- 
tion on a monolith at Seven Pagodas now used as a Ganega temple; and also again in a still more 
developed form at 5aluvankuppam. There can be no doubt that these inscriptions must be put at 
about 700 A. D. The first four lines of the Ganega temple inscription describe Qiva in a way that 
is only possible after Qankara's development of the Yedanta; and as the rest states that a Pallava 
king built ''this abode of Qambhu", the inscription cannot be later than the eighth century, for 
the Colas then conquered Tondainadu, and rendered such an inscription in praise of a king of the 
old dynasty, impossible*). Again, decidedly archaic forms of letters occur; e.g. the secondary form 
of a which is occasionally turned up instead of down, and which early disappeared in the Calukya 
and Cera characters. That again this inscription is later than those on the so-called rathas^ follows 
from the words ''atyantakamapallavegvara (ri ha (! ?) ranajayaA" being vnritten in this character 
over a nondescript figure on one of them. Were all these explanatory labels over the figures of one 
date or of about the same date, such a difference in the writing would not have occurred. There is 
another circumstance which corroborates the date I have assigned to this inscription— the existence 

1) See plates 16, 17 and 18 in B. A. S. Transactions li. and in Major Carres Collection of papers relating to the Seyen Pa- 
godas (Madras 1869, 8vo.) I put at the editor*8 disposal my copies of the inscriptions at Seven Pagodas and also at iSftlnyankuppam, 
as well as the results of excarations which I had made in 1867, and some of these are printed bj Major Carr. (pp. 221-225.) 

V Major Carr has given my transliteration of this inscription (in Devanftgart) on pp. 221-2; as, however, it is not quite 
correct, I give it again here. (I mark the half-^loka by ; ). 

1. SambhavasthitisamhArak&ranam vttakftrana^; bhiiyftd atyantak&m&ya jagat&(m) k&mamardanaA ||! 

2. Am&yaf citram&yo 's&v aguno gunabh&janaA ; jfy&d 

8. Yasy& *ngnshthabhar&kr&nta^ kail&sa^ sada^nanaA; p&t&lam agaman ma^^rtnidhis t& ||| 

4. Bhaktiprahvena manas& bhavam bhiishanalflay&; doshnA oa yo bhikm (au) * * (j jty&t sa ^rfbhara^ oiram 

5. Atyantak&mo nripatir niijitAr&timandalaA; khy&to ranajayaA gambhos tene Mam ve^ma k&ritam 

6. ^pr&nanishkalaA vgayata ^ankarak&ma. . . .naA ||| 

7. BAjar&jo navara^ma^ cakravartijan&rddana/l ; t&rak&dhipatiA svastho jayat&t taran&nkura/k ||| 

8. (rtmato 'tyantak&masya dvishaddarp&pahArinaA; ^rtnidhiA k&mar&jasya harftr&dhanasanginah 

9. AbhishekajaUpdrne citrarakt Ambujakare ; jlste vi^Me sumukhaA firassarasi ^atikaraA ||| 

10. Tene* dam kHritam ^ambho-Cr bhavanam bhAtaye bhnvaA kailAsa-) mandiraQubham praj&n&m ishtasiddhyartham 

11 .shashti givam ye8hft(m) na vasati h^daye kupathagativimo — 

12. xake rudraA |1| atyantak&mapallave^vara q t — 

See pi. 14 in Major Carr*s Collection of Papers, and in Dr. Babington's article (Trans. R. A. S. ii.). The translation given 
by the last (pp. 266-7) and reprinted by Major Carr, is not satisfactory. For Major Carr's "known as Banajaya** (p. 224), I 
think "tamed, victorious in battle" should be substituted. Line 10 is completed from the ^luvankuppam inscription. 

— 31 — 

of a Devanagari transcript of some verses selected from it with additions at iSMnvankuppam. The 
Deyan&gart is precisely that of the eighth or ninth century, and it is accompanied by a transcript 
in old grantha very near to that of the eleventh century as given in Plate xii. 

It is from the character of these inscriptions that the Indo-Chinese and Javanse alphabets must, 
I think, be traced. If this be the case, the civilization of that part of the East cannot be very 
old, and I think the facts bear out this view. 

It is unquestionable that the civilization of Cambodia was Buddhist, and that this was also 
chiefly the case with Java. As then Buddhaghosa was the apostle of the first country in the fifth 
century (a fact corroborated by the very advanced form of Buddhism that the ruins there display) 
and as the Chinese pilgrims Fa-Hian and Hiouen-Thsang (to say nothing of the Agoka inscriptions) 
make no mention of the first country, which they certainly would have done had Buddhism been 
long established there at their own periods (400 A.D. and 640 A. D.), it is impossible to assume 
any considerable civilization there before the eighth century A. D. It is especially noteworthy 
that Hiouen-Thsang diligently visited the mythical sites of events in Buddha's life which he found 
in S. India, and had Buddhism been long established in Cambodia, he would have probably visited 
the places of pilgrimage (e.g. the holy, foot-print in Siam) which must have in that case existed; 
but he does not mention anything of the kind. It must, therefore, be presumed that they did not 
then exist. Now the alphabets current in S. India about the eighth and following centuries up to 
about 1000 A.D. are obviously nearer the Cambodian and old Javanese than those current in N. 
India, and in which the characteristics of the Devanagari were already settled. But again these 
two alphabets are more closely allied to the Southern (or Cera-Grantha) than to the Northern or 
Calukya stock, for like the former these alphabets have preserved the subscript u and tl, and also 
have the secondary forms of &, e, ai, o which are separated from the preceding consonant. Thus 
the eastern Cera subsequent to 700 A. D. is the most probable source of both the Cambodian and 
old Javanese alphabets, and the reason of the great exodus of Indian Buddhists which alone could 
render possible the erection of such temples as those of Maha-Nakhon-Wat (?Maha-Nagara) in 
Cambodia and Boro-Boudour in Java, is then the persecution raised by Eum&rila and Qankar^c&rya 
in the last half of the seventh century A.D. That the civilization of Indo-China and Java cannot 
be later than 1000 A.D. is obvious>from the archaic type of many of the letters (e,g. a, a, 6, dh, 
71, b, bh, m, etc.) in the alphabets of those countries, as by that time the original types were disused 
in India. As regards the date of the Cambodian civilization this conclusion is confirmed by the 
way in which that country is mentioned by the Sanskrit grammarians. The gana 'gakadi' occurs 
in Qakatayana (No. 76 in the ganapatha), and this list of words includes Eamboja (t. e. Cambodia) 
in a connection that is, I think, historically explicable. This gana runs: Qaka, Yavana, Eamboja, Cola, 
Kerala, etc. in Qakatayana; and in Panini (Varttika to iv., 1,175 according to the Mahabhashya)^): 
Kamboja^) (this word is actually in the stLtra iv., 1, 175), Cola, Kerala, Qaka, Yavana. By these 

i)p. 60, b. of the Benares edition (eh. ir.) 

V This word also oconrs in P&nini*8 ganas *Kaoch&di' (iy. 2, 138) and 'SindhT&di' (it. S, 98) 

— 32 — 

rules these names unaltered, signify the king of each country also; at the time therefore, 
that these y&rttikas assumed their present form there was no Pandya <king^ but only a people. 
Of these names, Yavana, Cola and Kerala occur in the A^oka inscriptions (250 B. C), but Qaka 
could and does not; and it is difficult to see how it could occur in a gana before the first century A.D. 
i.e. before the event which gave rise to the ^aka era. Again, if the above reasoning be correct, 
Eamboja could not occur before about 800 A. D. That this gana is of this late date, I think the 
omission in it of the word Pdriidya is clear proof, for this could only have occurred when that old 
kingdom existed no longer, as otherwise the rule equally applies to that word. But the Pandya king- 
dom existed 250 B. C. (as the A^oka inscriptions prove), and was very flourishing in the second and 
third centuries A.D. (as Ptolemy and the Periplus prove), and it only fell on the rise of theCdlas 
in the seventh century A. D. By the tenth century A. D. all the old Pandya kingdom was under 
the Cdlas as inscriptions prove. Thus a native of N. India about 850-900 A. D. would not know 
of a Pandya king, but he would know of the Qakas historically, the Yavanas (t. e. the Persians) by 
intercourse, and he would also know of the existing kingdoms of the Cdlas, Eeralas and Eambojas. 
Again it cannot be later than 900 A. D. because at the end of the ninth century the old Cera king- 
dom (Kerala) fell not to rise again. The Mahavamso (compiled after the fourth century A. D.) also 

omits all mention of Pandya in the history of the early centuries A. D., and thus coincides with the 

If this view be correct, it is then impossible to avoid the conclusion that all the Sanskrit books 
in which ^Kamboja' occurs have had interpolations made in them in quite recent times; and thus, 
besides the grammars, the Ram&yana [i. 55 (56)2], M&navadharma^astra (x. 44), Nirukta (Naig: 
ii., 2 ) must be held to be interpolated. Profr. Max Miiller long ago pointed out that the Pani- 
niya UnnA^i-stttras must have been interpolated^), and the few S. Indian MSS. that I have seen 
prove not only the correctness of this supposition, but also the existence of a distinct recension 
which differs in many respects from that edited by Profr. Aufrecht. 

That two redactions of the Mahabhasya have been made, appears from a passage in the Vakya- 
padiya'), which states that the great Commentary was cut up (nilavita) by Vaiji and others; and 
again that a text was established by Candra and others from a single MS. under king Abhimanyu^^. 

The cause of the interpolations so frequent in all Sanskrit texts is the evident desire to make 

every independent work encyclopaedic, and thus to justify its adherents in putting forward claims 

to have their favorite text considered as the most important. The endless episodes in the epic poems 

owe their inclusion to this craving, and the practice was superseded in recent times, rather than 

prevented, by the sectarian commentaries. 

The Javanese alphabet of the inscriptions is exceedingly near the Eastern-Cera, as a superficial 
comparison will prove*). 

,^^ g ^ ^p 246—9. 

*) GoldBtfioker*B <*P&nini" sep. impr. pp. 237-8. 

S) This is confirmed by the account in the Bftjatarangint. Abhimanyu ie belieyed to have reigned 45-66 A. D. cfr. Lassen's 
I. A. E. ii. p. 1221. 

4) Bee the inscription (d. 9. 1266=1848) giren by Weber and Friedrioh in Z. d. D. M. Q. xYiii. pp. 494-608. 

— 33 — 

But besides the resemblance of the old Javanese character to the Eastern-Cera, the likeness 
of style of the inscriptions of the two countries is very remarkable. The common and large use 
of the epithet ^bhattaraka' or ^bhat'^ra' is an instance of this. It is rarely used in the Ealiriga- 
Calukya inscriptions, but is excessively common in the Cera. In old Javanese the word perpetually 
occurs' >. On the other hand it seems scarcely ever used in the N. Indian inscriptions*'. 

The question of the origin of the Javanese and Indo-Chinese civilizations is very obscure, but 
of vast importance. The information for its decision is very scanty, and hence palaeography may 
afford not a little help. 






B. CdlorOrantha, {Plate xii) 

The development of the early stages of the Grantha character is very difficult to trace, for 
the reason that the N. Indian civilization, when it got as far down in the peninsula as the Tami] 
country, found there a people already in possession of the art of writing, and apparently a cultivated 
language 3^ Thus Sanskrit did not regulate the Tamil phonetic system, nor did it become more to 
the people than a foreign learned language ; it thus remained almost exclusively in the knowledge 
of the Brahmans, and the Grantha alphabet is nothing more than the character the Tamil Brahmans 
used and still use for writing their sacred books in a dead language. As there are no old MSS. 
written in this character, the records we possess of its early stages are most iipperfect, and consist 
chiefly of Sanskrit words which casually occur in Tamil inscriptions. I am aware of the existence 
of only two or three Sanskrit inscriptions in the Grantha charactej: more than three centuries 
old, and these are not dated. 

The only interest this character possesses is the proof it affords of the derivation of the modern 
Grantha alphabet from the Cera, and thus from the Southern Agoka character. The jGirst traces, 
I have found of it, are a few words in the grant B. to the Persian Chpstians, and which are, therefore, 
to be referred to the early part of the ninth century A. D. The letters are somewhat carelessly 
formed, but are almost identical with the Cera of the same period (cfr. PL xxiii.). To the fall of 
the Cera kingdom in the ninth century must be attributed the sudden appearance of brahmanical 
culture in the Tamil country and Malabar. 

1) Cfr. V. Humboldfa ^^Kawi-spraohe" I. p. 190, Batara Guru; 194, Batara Kftla, Batara Sakra; 200, Batara Asmara etc. 
Eyen a feminine form occurs: Batari Rati (p. 200), Batari Umft (p. 203). t. Humboldt (p. 190) took this to be a modification 
of avafdroj but it was rightly explained bj Lassen (I. A— K. lY., p. 470). 

2) I must, however, point out that Profr. Kern is disinclined to consider the Javanese civilization as derived from S. India. 
At the end of a notice of the inscription of Pagger Roejong (in Java) he remarks that the Tamil and Telugu words in Java- 
nese could have been introduced through commercial intercourse, and cannot be taken as a proof of S. Indian colonies in 
Java. That Dravidian words are to be found in Javanese, I pointed out in the preface to my edition of the Yam^abrfLhmana. 
Profr. Kern*s article is in p. 2 of vol. viii. of the third Series of the '^Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land-, en Yolkenkunde van 
Nederlands Indi§;" it is called "Nog lets over't opsohrift van Pagger Roejong". 

3) This is proved by the entire absence of old inscriptions in the Tamil country in the Grantha or Grantha-Tamil characters, 
all such are in the Yattoluttu. See § 8 (below). 


The letters in the upper part of PL zii. are taken from two sources: 1. the inscription round 
the shrine of the great temple at Tanjore (which belongs to the end of the eleyenth century A.D.^>' 
and 2. an undated inscription near MuruTfamanyalam (in the Chingleput district) which is evidently 
of about the same date. 

The only point to which it is necessary to call attention is the advance made in about two 
centuries in the separation of the secondary forms of a, S, ai and 6, as shown by these inscriptions. 
In 825 A.D. only the g (e) was clearly separated from its consonant; about 1100 A. D. a is also 
generally separated (cfr. PI. xii., ka, ta, na, pa, ma, y&, ra, ha); the form in which it is attached 
being rare (cfr. ca, ^). The modem Grantha alphabet dates from about 1300 in all probability. 

C. Modem Grantha^^ and Tulu-McUaydlain. 

{Plates xiii., xiv. and xx.) 

The materials for the history of this section of the S. Indian alphabets are also excessively defective. 
These alphabets were up to quite recent times in very limited use, and except in Malabar, are still 
applied merely to write Sanskrit. The name 'Grantha' by which the E. coast variety has been 
known for some centuries'*) indicates that it was merely used for 'books' or literary purposes. 
This being the case, it is hopeless to look for old specimens, as palmleaf MSS. perish rapidly in 
the Tamil country where they are mostly written on leaves of the 'Borassus flabelliformis', far in- 
ferior to the Talipat leaves in beauty and durability. The oldest MS. I have been able to 
discover is Tanjore 9,594 which must be of about 1600 A. D. Autographs of mediaeval authors 
who must have used this character {e. g. Appayya Dixita in the sixteenth century A. D.) appear 
to be no longer in existence. 

There are at present two distinct Grantha hands. The brahmanical or square hand (cfr. pi. 
xiv.), and the round or Jain hand which has j)reserved the original features of the early Grantha 
far better than the other. The first is used chiefly in the Tanjore province; the last by the Jains 
still remaining near Arcot and Madras. 

By far the largest number of Grantha MSS. now existing are brahmanical, and the lesser or 
greater approach of the writing to the angular Tamil forms, is a certain test of the age of a MS. 
Such a hand as that shown in pi. xxx. became quite obsolete by 1700 A. D. The only modern 

1) Letters taken from this are marked *. This immense inscription was photographed by Capt. Tripe in 1859 and published 
by the Madras GoTernment. There is little Sanskrit in it except an introductory verse (Srasti frtAj etat yifTardpa^renimauli- 
m&lopalAbhitam| (ftsanam R&jar&Jasya R&jakesariyarmanaA {| ) which belongs to a part of the inscription dated in the 25th 
year of the king's reign (=1089 A. D.), and a few words in the Tamil text. 

<) The first complete representation of the Grantha alphabet is in <* A Sanskrit Primer" by Harkness and VisTambra Sastri, 
(nc) (4« Madras, College Press, 1827); the letters are, however, badly formed. The type now in use at Madras is very little 
better in this respect. 

3) See the reference to the Basava-pnrAna (1369 A. D.) on p. 25 n. 


— 35 — 

MSS. that I have seen at all like it, came from Palghat (Palakkadu); but Malayalam forms of 
occasional letters show their origin^). 

The Tulu-Malajalam alphabet is a variety of the Grantha, and like it, was originally applied 
only to the vmting of Sanskrit; it is, therefore, the Grantha of the West, or the original Cdla- 
Granths. modified in course of time in a country secluded from all but very little communication 
with the east coast of the peninsula. The importation of this alphabet into the S. W. coast must 
obviously have occurred after the Grantha had assumed its characteristic forms, or about the eighth 
and ninth centuries A. D.*> 

Up to about 1600 A. D. the Tulu^^ and Malayalam alphabets (as shown by Sanskrit MSS.) 
are identical, and hardly differ from the modern Tulu hand given in pi. xiv. MSS. from Malabar 
proper are generally written in a very irregular sprawling hand*^, those from the Tulu country are 
neater. This character was termed in Mallibar Arya-eluttu, and was only applied to write Sans- 
krit works up to the latter part of the seventeenth century when it commenced to supplant the old 
Vatteluttu hitherto used for writing Malayalam. In the Tulu country it cannot be said ever to 
have been used for writing the vernacular language — a Dravidian dialect destitute of a literature. 
The application of the Arysreluttu to the vernacular Malayalam was the work of a low-caste 
man who goes under the name of Tunjatta I^uttacchan, a native of TrikkandiyHr in the present 
district of Malabar. He lived in the seventeenth century, but his real name is forgotten; 
Tunjatta being his ^house' or family-name, and Eluttacchan (= schoolmaster) indicating his caste. 
It is probable that there was a scanty vernacular literature before his time^>, but it is entirely 
owing to him that the Malayalam literature is of the extent it is. He translated the Sanskrit Bhaga- 
vata, and several similar mythologico-religious poems, leaving, however, a large infusion of Sanskrit, 
and writing his composition in the arya character. His translations are often erroneous, and beyond 
adopting the Vattcjuttu signs for j, 1, and 1, (o, y and g.) he did nothing whatever to systematize 
the orthography which till lately was most defective®^ or to supply signs for letters (e.g,u) which 
are wanting in most of the other Dravidian languages. The Sanskrit literature was, after this, 
no longer a secret, and there was perhaps no part of S. India where it was more studied by 
people of many castes during' the eighteenth century. 

Tunjatta Eluttacchan's paraphrases were copied, it is said, by his daughter. I have seen the 

1) MSS. in aU these hands, and of different ages ooour among those I presented to the India Office Library in 1870. 

^) See the words (from the grant to the Persian Christians), given in pL xii. 

^)I haye been told by a Brahman of the M&dhva sect that the founder (Anandattrtha, f 1198 A. D.) wrote his works in 
this character on palm leaTes, and that some are stiU preserved in a brass box and worshipped at Udupi. It is probable, but 
I have not been able to get any corroboration of this story. The MSS. (if still existing) must be reduced by time to the con- 
dition of tinder; for the oldest MS. that I have seen in S. India which was of the 15th century, could not be handled without 
damage to it. 

-i^The types used in printing the first edition of the Malayftlam Gospels (at Bombay in 1806) exactly represent it. 

•^)Dr. Gundert considers the Malay&lam R&m&yana to belong to a period of perhaps some centuries before the arrival of 
the Portuguese. 

^) The distinction between e and e, and o and o was first made within the last thirty years by Dr. Gundert. In a new 
fount of types used at Kunam&vu (Cochin territory) an attempt is made to separate the secondary forms of u and fi. 


— 36 — 


MS. of the BfaagaTata » which is written in a round hand sloping to the left (or backwards), and 
thus precisely agrees with the current hand used in Malabar proper, and which was imitated in the 
types cut to print Spring's Grammar in 1836. The modem types vary considerably. The 
Trayancore hand is more angular'). 

The Sanskrit MSS. in this character (inscriptions there are none to my knowledge) present a 
peculiarity which deserves notice — the substitution of 1 and 1 for a final t or t, when these letters 
unchanged precede other consonants, or are final. Thus for tatkala we find cndluBtO^ (talkala), and for 
tasmat n)orv3^ (tasmal). This practice is totally wrong according to all authorities, and probably 
arises out of the tendency of the people of Malabar to slur over all surd consonants^). 

Apart from this singular practice, the Sanskrit MSS. from Malabar are among the best that 
can be had in India. Up to quite recent times the study of Sanskrit literature, and especially 
of the mathematical and astrological treatises, appears to have been followed in Malabar with 
more liying interest than anywhere else in the South. 

It is hardly necessary to remark that the ArySr^luttu or modern Malayalam alphabet is neces- 
sarily affected by the old Tamil orthography as far as it is applied to the writing of Dravidian 
words. So in a Malayalam sentence cs), except if initial, should be pronounced 5 in a Malayalam word, 
but t in one that is Sanskrit ; co should also be pronounced "y and g in the same circumstances. 
This however, is but little observed, and Sanskrit words are commonly Dravidianized. 

The Tamil and Canarese Grammars give rules for Dravidianizing Sanskrit words'), but the sub- 
ject deserves more attention than has yet been paid to it. These influences unquestionably affect 
the orthography of Sanskrit MSS. written in S. India. 

D. Grantha'Tcunil. (^Plates xvi a^id xxx.) 

The earliest inscriptions in which this character occurs are of the tenth century, and belong 
to the earlier kings of the revived Cola kingdom : they are at Conjeveram and in the neighbourhood 

1) This is preserred at Polakkale a riUag^e in the Cittdr Tiltk of the Coehtn territory, and not far to the aonth of 
Palghat (PiUkk&dn). The MS. vas much broken and injured bj damp when I aav it in 1865. The author's stool, clogs 
and staff are preserred in the same place; it thns looks as if Tnnjatta Eluttacchan was a sannyisi of some order. 

V There are some MSS. in this hand, among those I presented to the India Office Library in 1870; inelnding one of the 
MidhaTtya Dh&tnTrittL The types used to print books at Trerandmm foUow this model. The first printed q>eetmen of 
the arya-elntta that I know of is in the preface of toL L of Rheede*s ^'Hortns Malabariens". The complete alphabet was 
printed by the Propaganda at Rome in 1772, 8^. "Alphabetnm Orandonico Malabaricum.*' 

S)P. Panlinns a 8L Bartholemeo followed this practice in his 'Vyacaranam/* (Sanskrit Grammar), and was in conse- 
quence ridienled, but most nignstly, by Leyden and the Calcutta Sanskrit scholars of the last century. 

A)9aan41, iiL sAtras 19 — 21. *9*^^*<'"*9^<l^n^9*'* PP- ^^$ ^' ^f'- ^^ ^1>® introduction to the ezceUent Tassil-French 
Dictionary, publiabed at Pondiehery (in 2 YoU. 8to.) '^par deux Missionnaires Apoetoliques.** 

— 37 — 

of Madras and the Eaveri delta. Soath of Tanjore, there are few old inscriptions in this 
character* >. 

The origin of this Tamil alphabet is apparent at first sight; it is a brahmanical adaptation of 
the Grantha letters corresponding to the old Yatteiuttu, from which, however, the last four signs 
(1, 1, f and 9) have been retained, the Grantha not possessing equivalents The form of m is 
also rather Yatteluttu than Grantha. Qankaracarja is said to have preached with much success 
in the Cola kingdom; that it was the seat of a great brahmanical mission in the tenth century is 
shown by the inscriptions. This alphabet, accordingly, represents the later brahmanical Tamil 
culture as opposed to the older culture of the Jains of Madura. 

Inscriptions in this character abound in all the Northern Tamil country, where there is 
scarcely a temple of any note which has not acres of wall covered in this way. I need only men- 
tion the great temples of Conjeveram and Tanjore. It is, however, very unusual to find any with 
dates that can be identified, most being only in the year (andu) of the king's reign (or life?), 
and genealogical details being very rarely given in them. As the list of the Cola and Pandya 
kings is quite uncertain, it is thus impossible to procure a series of palseographical standards, 
and I, therefore, give only two specimens. These will show how very little alteration and development, 
occurred between 1073 and 1600 A. D. The greatest development has occurred in this century 
owing to the increased use of writing, and to the arbitrary alterations of the type founders- >. 

The Grantha-Tamil differs from the Grantha-alphabet in precisely the same way as the Yatte- 
luttu, as far as the reduplication of consonants and the expression of the absence of the inherent 
vowel (virama) are concerned. The pulli or dot above the consonant which serves the purpose of 
the virama, does not occur in any of the inscriptions I have seen, and it is omitted in the earliest 
printed books^J. The famous Jesuit Beschi (1704-174) is the author of a great improvement in 
TamiJ orthography — the distinction between the long and short e and o. This he effected by curv- 
ing the top of the g - used to express the short e, thus c, and the same sign serves (in the com- 
pound for 0) to express the long 6^). Before then, he states, the short a and o were occasionally 
distinguished by a stroke (the Sanskrit prosodial mark) above them. 

The angular form of this Tamil character is owing to a wide spread practice in the South of 

1) The old Grantha-Tamil alphabet was given by Babington in PI. xiii. of toI. ii. of the Transactions of the Royal As. 
Society of London; he apparently took it from the inscription of ^AlTankuppam, which is probably of the year 1038 A. D. 
I hare examined this inscription which is very roughly out, and therefore preferred that at Taigore which is of various dates 
from 1073 A. D. to 1089. It includes a large number of grants with many clauses in each. The whole was photographed 
by Capt. Tripe in 1859 and published by the Madras Government. 

^) The first edition of the N. T. in Tamil (4°. Tranquebar, 1714) is printed with type that exactly reproduces the character 
of the Tamil inscriptions of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 

V It appears to have been known to the Tamil grammarians. 

4) i^arammatica Latino-Tamulica, in qu& de vulgari Tamulica lingua" etc. (Tranquebar, 1789 12o). — longis (e et o) 
nuUo notatis signo brevibus supersoribendum decent illud signum (-). Attamen nullibi heec signa praterquam panels aliquot 

dlctionibus ex inertia fortasse amanuensium superscribi vidi unquam addo exoogitasse me alium et faciliorem modum 

distinguendi e eto longa a brevibus: scilicet, cum utrique inscrviat littera G com^u dicta; si haeo simplioi formft scribatur, crit 
e breve et o breve: si autem inflectetur in partem superiorem, ut infra dioam de t longo, sic a, e at o crunt longa.'* 

— 39 — 

Jains (ascetics) >> as the most prominent sect in the South, and this corresponds with the actual 
remains of the early Tamil literature which are in fact Jain, but he would have hardly said what 
he does if the grammars and the Euf al then existed. The earliest apparent or probable mention 
of writing in S. India is the passage in the Periplus of the Red Sea which describes Cape Comorin. 
Among other facts the author mentions that "it is related (historeitai) that a goddess bathes there". 
Considering that this journal was composed in the third century, and that, therefore, the Greek 
is very late, it is quite possible that this word 'historeitai' may mean that the legend was written, 
and the earlier editors and translators of the text took it in this sense^^ but the passage is by no 
means beyond doubt in this respect'J. The earliest Tamil Grammar by Ayattiyan (Agastya) clearly 
refers to writing if we may trust a quotation (preserved by a commentary on the Nanntll) which 
compares the relation between a letter and the sound it stands for, with the relation of an idol 
to the deity it represents. The age of this is unknown. 

The Vatteluttu was gradually supplanted by the Modern Tamil after the conquest of Madura 
by the Colas (ninth century), and it appears to have entirely gone out of use in the Tamil country 
by the fifteenth century. In Malabar it remained in general use up to the end of the seventeenth 
century among the Hindus, and since then, in the form of the Koleluttu, it is the character in which 
the Hindu sovereigns have their grants drawn up. The Mappilas of the neighbourhood of Tellicherry 
and in the Islands used this character till quite recently; it is now being superseded by the 
modified Arabic character which has religious prestige on its side*). 

1) I proposed the identification of the Nirgranthas with the Jains (in I. A. i., p. 310, n.) on the ground that in the Jain 
Atthap&hudaka (t. e. Ashtapr&bhritaka) Nirgrantha is constantly used as an epithet of the true Jains, and that, therefore, it 
oould not be referred to the Brahmans as had always been done hitherto, and also on the ground of probability, as e,g. Hiouen- 
Thsang's account of the 19'irgranthas is much more likely of Jains than of Brahmans ; but I haye since got additional informa- 
tion which makes my identification certain and can leave no doubt that Jain ascetics are intended by the word 'niggantha* 
(nirgrantha), though the word is now not understood by the Jains. Thus in the Digambara cosmogony called *Trilokas&ra* 
the g&thas 848-850 describe the persecution of some Jain ascetics by Kalki (a king said to haye liyed 894 years after the 
(akarAja). These run: 

848. So ummagg&himuho cafimuho sadadiyAsaparam&il e&ltsarajjao jidabhilmi puchaT samattiganam 

C. Sa Kalkt unm&rg&bhimukha$ caturmukh&khya/A saptatiyarshaparam&yushyaf caty&rim^adyarshar&jyo jitabhilmiA 
san syamantriganam priochati. 

849. Amhftnam ke ayas&P nigganthA i{«%hil kidi8Ay6r&? niddanayatth& bhikkhabhoji jah&sattham idi yayane | 

C. Asm&kam ke aya^&P iti. mantrinaA kathayanti: nirgranthAA santt *ti. punaA pricchati: ktdri9&kftrft? iti. 
nirdhanayastrA yath&^&stram bhix&bhojinaA iti mantrinaA pratiyacanani fruty&— 

850. Tam p&niClde nipaditapathamappindam tu sukkam idi geyam niyame sa jtyakade catt&h&rft gay& mnnino i 

C. Tesh&m nirgranthAn&m p&niputanipatitam prathamapindam (ulkam iti gr&hyam iti r&jno niyamena jtvena 
kritena tyakt&h&rAA santo munayo gatftA. 
Further proof will no doubt, also be giyen by Dr. Bfihler in the results of his researches on the Jains of Western India. 

S) See the edition in Hudson's **Geographi G-rieci Minores** Yol. i. p. 88, where the passage is translated: "Literis enim 
memoriaeque proditum est deam olim singulis mensibus ibi lafari fuisse solitam". The latest and more critical editor (C. 
MQlIer) has on the other hand : **Dea aliquando ibi commorata et layata esse perhibetur.** ("Oeographi Oroici Minores,** p. 300 
of vol. i. of Dldot*s Edition). It is therefore uncertain. 

3) I pass oyer the statement of lambulus ("Diodorus Siculus,** ed. Dindorf, ii. 59 in vol. i. p. 222) as it is impossible to 
explain it by any Indian alphabet as yet known. 

4) See Ko. ii. of my ** Specimens of South Indian Dialects'*. 

_ 41 — 

Canarese and Telugu alphabets, but if one compares the forms of i, k, t, r, and even a and §,, in 
both, it is hardly possible to avoid the conclusion that they are derived from the same source. 
That an alphabet should have been imported independently into Northern India (probably Gujarat) 
and also into the Tamil country much about the same time seems strange, but it is nevertheless 
most likely, considering the circumstances of foreign trade with India as reported by the classical 
authors. The Periplus, for example, mentions a large trade with Ariake i. e. Bombay and the 
country of the Prakrit-speaking peoples ; there is then a gap, and again large trade with Dimurike. 
Now this is simply the Western Tamil country or Malabar'), and between the two provinces there 
was the Pirate Coast which preserved its evil name till within recollection of many. There would 
be no trade there, and the Western and S. Western Coast would thus be in fact distinct countries. 
Again there could not have been any communication by land, for Fa-hian (400 A. D.) mentions 
the Deccan as uncivilized and inaccessible; it is, therefore, more likely that the S. A^oka character 
and the Vattejuttu are totally distinct importations, than derived the one from the other. 

What was this source? There is quite as much reason for supposing a Semitic original in this 
case, as in that of the S. Agoka character, resemblances to some of the PhoBnician and Aramaic 
letters being equally apparent in both*). Of all the probable primitive alphabets with which a com- 
parison of the Yatteiuttu is possible, it appears to me that the Sassanian of the inscriptions presents 
most points of resemblance'). The number of letters also in both, narrowly agree. At present 
the difficulty is to find certain and dated examples of the Aramaic character used in the early 
centuries B. C. and also similar specimens of the Yatteiuttu ; there is also the difficulty of deciding 
which of the many derivatives from the Phoenician alphabet but of which it is possible the Indian 
alphabets may have been formed, was actually used for this purpose. 

Another remarkable feature in the Yatteiuttu is the system of marking the secondary vowels. 
This is intermediate between the systems of the Northern and the Southern A^oka alphabets 
and thus connects both. I was led by this striking fact to suggest in an article on the 

1) The Periplus and Ptolemy hare Limurikd, but as the Peutingerian Table, the Bavenna Geographer and Guido hare 
Dimirice, there oan be no doubt that the copyists have mistaken d for /, an -exoeedingly easy error in Greek. Dimnrik6 is thus 
Tamil + ikd; now Malay&^am was called Tamil formerly, and at the time of the classical writers the languages in no way dif- 
fered. It is thus impossible to identify Dlmurikd with Canara, (as was done by Vincent* following Bennell for quite illusive 
reasons), but it must be taken to mean 8. Malabar, and the three great ports Tundis, Mouziris and Nelkunda (Nincylda) are 
Eadal(t)undi (near Beypore), Muytrikk6du (Kishankotta part of Cranganore) and Kallada (inland from Quilon up a large 
river). The Yatteiuttu must, therefore, have been imported at one of these places. The reasons for this new identification 
would take too much space here, and must be given elsewhere. 

S) I must, however, point out that Profr. Max Mflller is not satisfied in respect of the S. A^oka character (Sanskrit Gr. 
p. 8). He quotes Prinsep*s ''Essays" by Thomas, ii., p. 42. 

8) The development of the Pahlavt from the #arly Aramaic character is traced by M. F. Lenormant in the * Journal 
Aslatique'* for August and September 1865 (pp. 180-226). The resemblance between some of the Yatteiuttu letters and the 
corresponding Proto- and Persepolitau Pahlavt forms (as given by M. Lenormant) is very striking, ofr. a; Pahlavt d with 
t; t; 1 (r); m; n; p; k; s with s etc. 

• ^Commerce and Kftvlgation of the lodUn Ocean'*, iLp. i56. 


— 42 — 

Vattelntiii ^> to soggest that the Northern alphabets had, in this respect, copied from it. At present 
it appears to me that it is best to consider the A^ka alphabets and the Vattelnttu as inde- 
pendent ; the evidence afforded by the few facts that are satisfactorily known in respect of these 
characters is too imperfect to allow of more precise conclusions being drawn. Vattelattu is the 
modem Malayalam name of this character, and means ^roond hand' apparently to distinguish it 
from the Eoleluttu or ^sceptre hand'; it appears to be the best name for this alphabet as it pre- 
yents all confusion with the modem Tamil. 


(^Plates xvii, xviii., zxviL and zxviiL) 

The South-Indian form of the Devanagari character usually goes by the name of Nandin&gart^ 
a name it is quite as difficult to account for, as that of its source the Devanagari*). The Nandina- 
gari is directly derived from the N.Indian Deyanagari of about the eleventh century, but it is from 
the type that prevailed at Benares and in the West, and not from the Gaud! or BengalL This last 
is chiefly distinguished from the other types by the way of marking the secondary e and o, which 
is done by a perpendicular stroke before the consonant in the case of e, and by a similar stroke 
before and another after the consonant in the case of o, and this is, very nearly, the actual Bengali 
system. The other type marks these vowels in the same way as is done by the ordinary Nagari 
alphabet. Thus the S. Indian Nandinagari is derived from the Siddhamdtraka character used, 

1) In the Indian Andquary YoL i., p. ffg. This article is, I belieye, the first to eall attention to this alphabet. Specimens 
of the eharaoter occur in the preface to Bheede*8 "Hortns ICalabarioos" (1678), and in Fryer^s 'New Aoeonnt*' (1698) p. 38. 
The author giyes it as Telugu, but the specimen on p. 52 is Teln^n and not Malabar (Tamil) as he states; he has made a 
mistake between them. 

') The word K&ga(rt*) first occurs, it seems, as the name of an alphabet in the Lalitatistara, a life of Buddha that is in its 

original form perhaps two thousand years old; but as it exists in Sanskrit and Tibetan it would be Tery unsafe to put it at 

an earlier date than about the seyenth century A. D. The Tibetan rersion (of which Profr. Foucaux has published a most 

excellent edition and translation) was made in the ninth century by three natires of India named Jinamitra, D&na^tla and 

Mnnirarmlk with the assistance of a Tibetan Lotsara named Bande Te-iee-sdes; this fact is stated in the Tibetan index to the 

great collection called Bkah-hgyur (Kandjur) in the description of the work in question (Rgya-toher^rol-pa t. e. LalitaTistara), 

and is to be found on p. 16 (No. 95) of this index as reprinted at St. Petersburg. Naga(rt) occurs as the name of an alphabet 

in ch. X. (▼. p. 1 18 of toI. i. of Profr. Fouoaux*s edition) which describes how the young prince, afterwards known as Buddha, was 

taken to a school and completely posed the pedagogue. Sixty-four alphabets are mentioned some of which are, no doubt, 

mythical, but others are real {e g. PrUvida, Anga and Banga), though it is against all the eridence of the inscriptions that 

they existed as distinct alphabets before the ninth or tenth century A. D. If therefore the framework of the LalitaTistara 

be old, this passage is certainly an interpolation, though yery yaluable eridenoe regarding the ninth century A. D. But this 

Tibetan rersion by no means bears out the meaning usually assigned to the word DoTan&gart — *'n4gart of the Oods or Brahmans'*, 

n&gart being usually referred to nagara and being supposed to mean 'writing used in cities*. The Tibetan text has here the 

ordinary name (in that language) of the Deyan&gart character— *klu-*iyi-ge" (as a translation of the Sanskrit *n&ga-lipi') and 

this is also literally ^'writing of the n&gas". It is evident, therefore, what the natives of India understood n&galipi or nftgar! 

to mean in the ninth century A. D., and it only remains to be seen if this deriyation is possible. I think this question must 

be answered in the affirmative, as not only Prakrit but also Sanskrit words exist which are formed in the same way. There is 

yet another possible explanation of %&gart*— that it means the writing of the Nftgara or Gujarat Brahmans. (Cfr. 'n&gara* in 
Molesworth*s Mahr. Dy.). 

— 43 — 

according to AlbirtLni (1031 A.D.) in Benares, the Madhyadega and Cashmere. It now differs 
greatly from that type or from the N. Indian Devanagari, and is remarkably illegible; but this 
deterioration took place very slowly, and is unquestionable owing to the practice of writing on 
palm-leaves. The Nagari inscriptions in S. India are all, with one exception, subsequent to the 
tenth century; this exception is at Seven Pagodas in the temple of Atiranacande^vara near 
iSfalav&nkappam, and is in nearly the same character as a dated inscription of the seventh century 
found near Nagpur and published in the Bombay Journal^). As this inscription is given in two 
different characters, this must have been done for the benefit of pilgrims from the North. It has 
already been published'). 

In the Deccan, Devan&garf inscriptions begin to appear during the temporary fall of the Ealyana 
Calukyas^) and this character appears to have been almost exclusively used by the revolted feuda- 
tories^). On the revival of the original dynasty the use of this character continued, as the 
sovereigns betrayed a great partiality to N. Indian literary men. There is not, apparently, the 
least trace of any patronage bestowed by them or by their successors the Y&davas of Devagiri^> 
on vernacular culture. 

The Muhammadan invasion of the Deccan in 1311, and the destruction of the old kingdoms, 
brought about the establishment of the Vijayanagara dynasty, under which not only the Sanskrit, 

i) Vol. I. pp. 148 ifg, 

V '^Transaotions of the B. As. Sooieky*', II., pL 15 (in Dr. Babington*B Paper on Seyen Pagodas). For the positioa of the 
place see the map in Madras Jonrnal, xiii., and in Major Carres reprint of papers on this subject. I had this little temple 
cleared of sand in 1867, and took copies of the inscriptions which I gave Major Carr. 

8) For a specimen see the grant under AkMayarsha d. q, 867 (=945 A. D.) in the I. A. i. pp. 205 ffg. 

4) The chief of these feudatories (often independent) are as follows : 

i. R&shtrakiita. General remarks on, and genealogy of this dynasty occur in Bombay Journal, i., p. 211 and 

iii., p. 98 '^Indian AndqtMry, L, pp. ^07-9. For inscriptions we As, /. y., {d, 978 A. D.) Bombay Journal^ i., pp. 209-224 
(d, q, 980= 1008 A.D. in Deyan&gart); ii., p. 272, n. pp. 871-6 (d. q. 675=s 758 A. D. also Dey. IP); iy., pp. 100-4 {d. q. 855 = 
A.D. 988 also in Dey.) B&shtra seems to be merely a brahmanloal peryersion of the Telngu '^Beddi". 

ii. KAlaourya or K&labhurya. It is uncertain which spelling is correct, and I have no means of attempting to decide it. 
Up to about 1000 A. D. c and bh much resembled each other. 

Madras Journal (''Hindu Inscriptions'* by Sir W. BlUot) yii., pp. 197, 211-21, and 224-225. 
The most important of the three kings whose names occur is Vijjaladeya the first; he conquered Tailapa ii. (of Kaly&na- 
pura) and during his reign (1156-1165) the reyolt of Basava and the Ling&yats broke out which cost him eyentually his 
throne and life. 

iii. Kadamba (neighbourhood of Ooa). Probably an old branch of the CMukyas. ■* Notes on Sanskrit copper-plates found 
in the Belgaum oollectorate" by J. F. Fleet {Bombay Journal^ iz., pp. 281-246). ''Some further inscriptions relating to the 
Kadamba kings of Goa" by the same (do. pp. 262-809). See also Sir W. Elliot's article in Madras Journal, yii., pp. 226-9. 
The new dynasties which replaced the older CMukyas in the Deccan from the 13th to the 14th centuries are: 
i. Deyagiri Yftdayas. See Lassen (I. A— K. IY. pp. 945-6). 
ii. Dy&rasamudra Y&dayas. (do. IY. pp. 972-8). 
iii. Orukkal (Warangal). From the thirteenth century to 1811. 
I haye not been able to find any inscriptions of this dynasty. 

iy. Ygayanagara; from about 1820 to 1564. In Tanjore up to 1674-5. 
For the earlier kings see my Yam$abr&hmana (pref. p. xyi., n.), and for the later Lassen's I. A— K. IY. (pp. 975-8.) 

5) The weU known law-book the Mitixari was composed in the reign of Yikram&ditya Y. (1076-1127), but it is not known 
of what country the author was a natiye {Bombay Journal ix., pp. 184-8). The Yidy&pati of this king was a Cashmere 
Brahman named Bilhana. (See letter from Dr. Bahler in I. A. iii., p. 89.) 



but also the Vernacular literatures were much cultivated. The early inscriptions of this dynasty are 
either in the Hala-kannada or Nandi-nagart character; the latest (of the 15th and 16th centuries) 
are almost exclusively in the last. They constitute by far the largest class of S. Indian inscrip- 
tions, for the sovereigns of this dynasty at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th century 
repaired or endowed most of the large temples in the South ^>. 

The S. Indian Nandinagari alphabet calls for very little remark as from the earliest examples 
of the fourteenth century up to 1600 A. D. there is scarcely any development. It is certainly one 
of the most illegible characters in use in- all India. 

MSS. in this character are not uncommon, as it is the favorite alphabet of the Madhva sect, 
which counts an immense number of adherents in S. India especially in Mysore, the neighbourhood 
of Conjeveram, and Tanjore. All members of this sect are Brahmans, and all learn more or less of 
the books on their dogmas written by Anandatlrtha (Madhvllcarya) and his successors. The 
Nandinagari is used exclusively for writing on palm-leaves; for writing on paper, the ordinary 
Mahratha hand of Devanagari is used, and the writing is often exceedingly minute. All the 
inscriptions on copper-plates, and MSS. on palm-leaves that I have seen are numbered with the 
ordinary Telugu-Canarese numerals. 

The modern Nagari (or Balbodh) character was introduced into S. India by the Mahratha con- 
quest of Tanjore in the latter part of the seventeenth century '), and was chiefly used in Tanjore, 
where it is still current among the numerous descendants of the Deccan Brahmans attracted there 
by the liberality of the Mahratha princes. 


S. India had long been frequented by foreigners before the Europeans effected settlement there 
in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Some of those early colonies still subsist, but the 
people while retaining more or less of their nationality have, however, lost the colloquial use of 
their own original tongues, and adopted S. Indian vernaculars which now are generally written 
with foreign characters. The most important of these foreign colonists are: — 

A. Arabs. 

The descendants of the early Arab colonists though very numerous in S. India are perhaps 
not in any case of pure descent. In Malabar and the south-west they are called 'Mappila'; in the 
east (or Tamil country) their name is 'Labbai' or ^Lebbai'. There does not appear to be any 

U Many examples are already published. Bengal As. S. Transactions, iii., pp. 39 Ifg.; also in toL xz. Colebrooke's * Essays'* 
ii., pp. 264-267. '^Indian Antiquary"^ ii., p. 871. 

S) The date of the conquest of Tanjore by Ekoji, and the end of the 19'Ayak (Telugu) princes is far from certain. Orme 
in the last century could not be sure about the date, though he had all the Madras GoTcmment records at his disposaL 
Anquetil Du Perron C^Recherehes sur V Inde", I. pp. 1-64) has gone into the question Tery elaborately, and puts the data 
at 1674-5, which appears to be as near as can be expected. 

— 45 — 

trace in the Telugu country of a similar race. True Muhammadans they are^^ but few have any 
knowledge of Arabic; their books and letters are now written in Malayalam or Tanii| with a modi- 
fied Arabic character. This has, however, been introduced only in recent times. I have given 
an account of the system already elsewhere^). 

B. Persians and Syrians. 

The earliest Christian settlements in S. India were Persian, and a few inscriptions in Pahlavi 
still remain which belong to that period'). They were, however, supplanted by the so-called 
Syrians who are now in appearance exactly like all the other inhabitants of Malabar, and use Mala- 
yalam as their language; this they often write with Syriac (Karshuni) letters to which they have added 
from the Malayalam 'Arya' character the letters deficient in the former. Syriac is merely used 
in the churches, though apparently it is pretty generally understood by the more intelligent 
members of the community. A few tombstones and similar relics in Travancore show that the 
Syriac^Malayalam alphabet is of recent introduction, and that the Syrians originally used only 
the Yatteluttu character. Buchanan^) mentions bells with inscriptions in Syriac and Malayalam, 
but I have not seen or heard of any. 

As both these alphabets belong (as far as my information extends) to recent times, it is useless 
to do more than mention them here. 

1) They all affect the 8. Arabian oostume cBpeoIally the ^Qalansuwah* (a stiff cap of Tariegated silk or cotton. See Dosy's 
''Diotionnaire des noms des ydtements ohez les Arabes". pp. 365-371) if they can afford it. The Muhammadan Arabs ap- 
pear to haye settled first in Malabar about the beginning of the ninth century; there were heathen Arabs there long before 
that in consequence of the immense trade conducted by the Sabeans with India according to Agatharchides. 

2) <* Specimens of Indian Dialects", No. ii. 

3) Cfr. my paper ''On some PahlaTi Inscriptions in S. India" (4<> Mangalore 1873). The most important of these inscrip- 
tions is the miracle-working cross (or tombstone) of St. Thomas, at the Mount near Madras. 

3) Z. d. D. M. G. xxii., p. 548 (from Land's '^Anecdota") copied in Lenormant*s '^Essai sur la propagation de V alphabet 
Ph^nicien" ii. pp. 24-5 (pi. ▼!.) 

4) « Christian Besearsohes" p. 112. 



iPlate xix.) 

IHE history of the numerals used in India is of the last importance, as on it, probably, de^ 
pends the solution of a very important question — ^the origin of the decimal system of notation hj 
which the value of the numbers depends on position and which also involves the use of the cipher. 
The facts furnished by the S. Indian inscriptions unfortunately are of little more value than to 
throw doubts on the speculative conclusions arrived at by Woepcke originally*), but which are now 
commonly asserted in popular manuals'). These are: the early Indian numeral signs and cipher 
are derived from the initial letters of the words denoting the same; that these numeral-figures 
were brought to Europe by two distinct courses — firstly, about the early centuries of our era by 
Neo-Pythagoreans through the intercourse between Alexandria and India; and secondly, by the 
Arabs, who adopted them about the ninth century^). The last proposition is the only one of the 
three which rests on historical evidence; the rest are inferences drawn by Woepcke with strong 
probability, and have been so far accepted by the most eminent Indianists ^\ Whether the in- 
scriptions that have been discovered since these conclusions were arrived at, as well as some facts 
as yet unnoticed, do or do not support them, is now a matter for serious enquiry. 

The earliest known example of an Indian numeral-figure occurs in the Eapur-di-giri inscription 
which has already been mentioned, and which belongs to the middle of the third century B. C. 

1) Woepcke, "M^moire sur la propagation des chiffres Indiens** (separate impression, 1863) pp. 2-3. The aathor mentions 
the imperfect evidence, and then asks if all attempt toi draw oonolasions must be abandoDcd. His own opinion he states as 
follows : " Je ne le pense pas, pourTu qn'en t&chant de oonstruire an ensemble, on fasse oonsolenoieusement oonnattre les parties 
ooi^ectarales ponr les distinguer d'ayeo les parties oertaines, et pouryn que Ton ne pr^sente les explications hypoth^tiques aux- 
quelles on est oblig^ de recourir que oomme la r^sultante la plus probable des faits connus dans le moment; pouryu en fin 
que Ton soit tou jours pr6t k modifier ses conclusions dans le cas oii le d^couTcrte de documents nouyeaux en rendrait la ne- 
cessity ^yidente." It appears to me that the explanation of the caye numerals, and the ascertainment of the complete series 
of units, as well (as I shall show) that these numerals were used oyer greater part of S. India, now warrant a different con- 
clusion to that of Woepcke as regards the origin of the current figures. 

2) A. Braun (Die Ergebnisse der Sprachwissenschaft p. 26.) says: Dass einigedieser Ziffern eine grosse Aehnlichkeit mit den 
unsrigen haben, sieht man sofort. In der That yerdienen unsere Zahlzeichen es eigentlich auch nicht, arabische genannt zu 
werden, denn sie stammen ursprfinglioh aus Indien ; die Araber waren nur die Ueberbringer, nicht die Erflnder derselben*'. 

3) For the first proposition see pp. 44-52 of Woepcke's *'H^moire"; for the second, pp. 123-6; as regards the third, the 
Indian Embassy to Al-Man^ur was in 778 A. D. 

4} Max Hiiller, "Sanskrit Gr." p. 9 (2nd ed.); "Chips from a German Workshop," ii., p. 295. Also by Profr. Benfey in his 
"Geschichte d. sprachwissenschaft** p. 802. 

— 47 — 

In it the number ^four' is expressed by four upright lines, thus niT.^> Later inscriptions in the same 
character furnish other examples; the most important is one from Taxila, which is of the first 
century B. C. and in which the number 78 is expressed by 3 x 20 + 1 X 10 + 2 x 4; the figures for 
20, 10 and 4 being distinct signs. The figures for four in these two inscriptions (mi & +) show 
a considerable development between the third and first centuries B. C. It is therefore, certain 
that the method of denoting numerals which prevailed in the early centuries B. C. in the Panjab 
and Ariana began with the use of strokes equal to the number to be expressed, and that this pri* 
mitive system had, by no means, become perfect in the first century B. C. 

The Southern A^ka inscriptions which, as I have already said, are alone of importance for 
South-Indian palseography, do not contain any numeral signs, but there are inscriptions from 
Mathura, which are in nearly the same character, belonging to the first or second century A. D. 
probably, which show a well-developed system entirely distinct from that which is found in the 
Arianic inscription of Taxila of about the same date. In this the first three numerals are expres- 
sed by one, two and three horizontal strokes, the rest (four, etc.) have distinct figures, and there 
is a distinct figure for each of the orders of numbers (ten, twenty, etc.) up to one hundred which 
has, as well as one thousand, a sign to itself. The intermediate units are expressed by simply 
adding their signs; for example, twenty-five is expressed by the sign for twenty, followed by that 
for five. There is not the least trace of the use of the cipher in this system. It is obviously an 
independant and ingenious development of much the same elements as were used in the Arianic 
system, but far more perfect. It is quite impossible to derive these signs from the initial letters of 
the words for the numbers, as they bear no resemblance at all to the Southern-Agoka letters which 
begin the corresponding words, nor excepting the signs for eight and nine do they bear any resem- 
blance to the same letters in the Kapur-di-giri character; and the likeness in both these cases is 
very superficial. This system of numerals was used in the cave inscriptions of Western India, and 
in many other parts of India during several centuries. The latest inscription in N. India appears 
to be dated 385 A. D.^^, but nearly the same numerals occur in inscriptions of the early Vengi 
dynasty of Ealinga which must be referred to the fourth and fifth century, and the sign for 'ten' 
occurs in a Cera inscription d. 466 A. D. The system of numeral figures still used by the Tamil 
people forms a step in advance, the distinct signs for ten, hundred and thousand only being 
preserved, and those for twenty up to ninety being discarded. Apart from this still existing 
system, there is no evidence as to the use of these 'Cave numerals', as they are usually termed, 
after the fifth century, for inscriptions with dates in figures appear to be wanting from that time 
till about the tenth century in Northern India, and till about the year 1300 A. D. in S. India. At 
these dates we find, in the respective countries, the exclusive use of numeral figures with a value 
according to position and the cipher; and the figures have much the same forms as are now current, 

1} The late illustrious scholar who deciphered this inscription (Mr. E. Norris) told me that this gave him the clue by which 
he recognized it as an A^olca edict, and was thus able to decipher it. 
>) The Kaira plates. See Prinsep's '^Essays'* by Thomas, I. p. 257. 

— 48 — 

and which so closely resemble the Gobar numerals, also in use and with the same value according 
to position in Europe also about the eleventh century. Though it has often been asserted that 
the modern or Devanagari numerals are mere abbreviations of the initial letters of the words 
denoting the corresponding numbers'), I think that a comparison of the later forms of the Cave 
numerals with them, will render it perfectly clear, that, this is not the case, but that, all the 
indigenous numerals used in the various parts of India are simply derived from the Cave numerals 
which are not, as I have already shown, of an alphabetic origin at all. This derivation is also 
the only one which satisfactorily explains the forms of the numerals used in the North as well as 
in the South of India^). 

It therefore appears that, neglecting all possibilities, in favour of which evidence does not exist, 
(such as the simultaneous existence of the more modern system of notation with the older in the fifth 
century A.D. or even earlier), the only possible conclusion is that, the great improvement of using 
numerals with a value according to position, and consequently the use of the cipher first occurred 
in Northern India between 500 and 900 A. D. Now though the inscriptions fail us as yet for this 
period, the almost unrivalled sagacity of Woepcke has detected some evidence in the works of the 
astronomers who lived in India during those centuries. These are: Aryabhata who himself tells us 
that he was born in 476 A. D.; Varaha Mihira who died in 587 A. D.*); Brahmagupta who lived 
about 600, and Bhattotpala who lived about 1000 also of our era. All these writers composed 
their treatises in metre, and to suit the exigencies of the strict limits thus imposed on them, the 
three last were obliged to express the terms of their calculations by words, and these not the usual 
ones, but by symbolical words denoting natural objects, and in a conventional way, (as here used) 
also numerals. This peculiar system (which will be fully explained further on in this chapter) 
implies value by position, and also has words which express indirectly the cipher*). This same system 
is also used in the StLryasiddhd>nta which is of very uncertain date in its actual form. It is thus 
perfectly clear that the Indians knew of numerals with a value according to position in the sixth 
century A. D., but the system of Aryabhata which is totally different to the one described, 
appears to render impossible the assumption that he also about 500 A. D. knew of the cipher. 
He uses the successive vowels of the Sanskrit alphabet to express place, and thus his system 
agrees in principle with the Tamil notation; a, a and i corresponding in value with the Tamil 
signs for ten, hundred and thousand. Woepcke, however, considers that Aryabhata invented this 
notation to suit his style of composition in verse, and that the system of notation by words 

1) Woepcke, «M6moire" pp. 44-53. 

V See pi. xix. 

8) Bo. J. Tlii., p. 241. 

4; It must be remarked that these words all mean ^hlank\ ^'vacancy* or ^8hy\ and that there is nothing to show that there 
was a distinct ma/rh or figure for the cipher; thus the Indian notation by words exactly corresponds with the system of the 
abaons. Woepcke wrongly translates two of these words ((Anya and kha) by *Ze potvU' (p. 108), and there is therefore no- 
thing in the astronomical treatises to show that the cipher was used in India eyen in the sixth century A. D. 


— 49 — 

with value according to position was 'probably anterior to Aryabhata''^ Wonld Aryabhata have 
omitted all mention of real value by position had he been acquainted with it? Beyond the sixth 
century there is nothing to indicate the use of the cipher; for the high orders of numerals 
(equivalent to billions, trillions, etc.) first noticed by Profr. Weber >) do not necessarily imply any- 
thing of the kind. An illustrious French Mathematician, and an equally eminent French Philo- 
sopher have shown that this invention may have occurred in the middle ages of Europe spontane- 
ously^); it may also have occurred independently in India, but as the facts stand at present, it is 
difficult to connect India and Europe in the transmission of this particular invention from the first 
country to the other. As it is not proved to have been known in India before 500 A. D. it is almost 
impossible to see how it can have been transmitted from thence to Europe before the rise of the 
Arabs, for direct communication ceased about the fourth century A. D.^), and in Europe, at all 
events, the very little intellectual activity that was displayed ran in entirely different courses 
during the sixth, seventh and eighth centuries. The Arabic numerals now in use certainly came 
from India, but numerals with value according to position and the cipher were already in use in 
Europe (by the Neo-Pythagoreans) before they were adopted^). If the derivation of the numeral 
figures from the initial letters of the Sanskrit words denoting the respective numbers be given up, 
there is nothing left to show where the figures were first used; by the Pythagoreans in Europe 
or the astronomers in India. The assumption that the last was the case, but which (as I have 
already said) an examination of the earliest forms of the numerals preserved in inscriptions will 
prove to be impossible, is the foundation of the theory that Europe is indebted to India in this 
respect; in £a«t Woepcke chiefly relies on it^^ The theory in question was started by J. Prinsep 
about 1838, or long before the Cave numerals were explained. The resemblance between the Neo- 
Pythagorean numerals and their cursive form the Gobar on the one hand, and the India cave 
numerals and the forms derived from them on the other, is too striking not to be noticed, but this 

i)a. t. p. 117. n. '^Il ne faudrait pas oonoiare de 1* existenoe d* nne notation alphabetique invent^ par Aryabhata, que 
oette InTontion eet n^oessairement ant^rienre k oelle des ohiffres. Aryabhata, qni ^criYait aassi en Tors, ayait besoin d' nne 
notation qui se laiBsait mettre en ^Idkas, et troayait peut-^tre qae la m^thode des mots symboliques, tr48 probablement ant^rienre 
k Aryabhata, manqaait de bri^vet^ et de pr^ision.** Aryabhata (so the M83. haye his name) wrote in Arya metre, and 
words wonld snit him better than letters; the fact remains that he did not use yalue by position. 

5) Z. d. D. M. a. zy. pp. 1S8 Itg. 

8) Chasles who is supported by Ck>mte. The last says ("Oours de Philosophie Positiye", V. p. 826 note): '^Personne n' ignore 
nl r heureuse innoyation r^lis^ an moyen ftge, dans les notations num^riques ni la part incontestable de Tinfluenoe catholique 
& oet important progrte de V arithm^tique (I P). Un g^m^tre distingu^, qui s' oooupe, ayec autant de suooes que de modestie 
de la y^ritable histoire math^matique (M. Chasles), a tres-utilement oonflrm^, dans ces demiers temps par une sage discussion 
sp^iale, au siget de oe memorable perfootionnement, l^aperQu ratipnnel que deyait naturellement inspirer la saine th^rie, du 
d^yeloppement humain, en prouyant qu*on y doit yoir surtout, non une importation de l*Inde par les Arabos, mais un simple 
r^eultat spontan^ da mouyement soientiflque antdrieur, dont' on pent suiyre ais^ment la tendance graduelle yers une telle issue 
par des modifications sucoeesiyes, en partant des notations primitiyes d' Archim^de et des astronomes greos**. 

The abacus of the ancients was so near the modem system of numeration, that they would haye but little felt the want of it. 

4) Beinaud <^ Relations poUtiques et commeroiales de V empire Bomain'*, p. 265-9. Woepcke (*M6moire" p. 67) allows 
that if the inyention came from India, it must haye been transported thence: ''dans les premiers slides de notre ire.** 

6) «]f4moire", p. 194. 
6) Do. p. 58. 

— 50 — 

fact does not warrant a presumption that one is borrowed from the other; more probably, both are 
from a common source. The question of what might have been the common original of the Neo- 
Pjrthagorean and Gave numerals is one for the decision of which information must jet be discoyer- 
ed. Can it have been invented in Chaldsea (Babylonia) as one mediaeval writer asserts of the abacas ?') 
Egypt seems, however, a much more probable source. That country was, almost beyond doubt, the 
source from which the Phodnicians got their alphabet; as the late Ycte de Roug6 showed, the 
primitive Phoenician letters are selected from among the cursive or Hieratic characters'), and 
the Egyptians were in the habit of using numerals long before any other nation on the earth, as 
the tombs of the early dynasties display them in common use. If the 'Cave' numerals be compar- 
ed with the Egyptian Hieratic and Demotic numerals, a similarity between many of the forms and 
also in the systems will be at once observed. Thus of the Demotic forms given by M. de Roug6') 
the figures for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 have a considerable likeness to the Cave numerab of the 
same value. Again the Hieratic and Demotic systems have separate figures for 10, 20, etc. like the 
'Cave' system, and of these several show more or less likeness to the Indian figures. An Egyptian 
origin of the 'Cave' numerals would solve the difficulty that the likeness between the Indian and 
Pythagorean (Gobar) numerals now presents; it is much more probable that the cipher was 
introduced from Alexandria in the fourth century A. D. together with Greek astrology, than that 
it was invented in India previously, considering the very rudimentary state of Indian mathematics 
before that period. The Chinese numerals (which are apparently much older than the Indian) 
present also some similar forms. Considering the great resemblance to the Himyaritic character 
that the original Indian alphabet presents, it would appear that S. W. Arabia is the most probable 
source for the Indian numeral system, but since the explanation of the Himyaritic numerals by 
M. Hal6vy*) it is of little use to look there. 

It thus appears that all the figures now in use in India are derived from the 'Cave' character; 
there is no trace of an independent introduction as in the case of the Vatteluttu alphabet. What- 
ever may be the origin of value by position and the cipher, there can be no doubt that this im- 
portant invention was first used in N. India. 

U Do. p. 22. The anthor in qaestion is Radulphus of Laon who liyed in the 12th century. (fllSl). 
>) Lenormant, <*EB8ai sur la propagation de 1* Alphabet Ph^nicien". I. pp. 88-94 ;151-2. 
») '^Chrestomathle Egyptienne** faso. ii. plates L ii., and iii. (pp. 118-7.) 

4) "Etades Sab^nnes" in the Journal JLsiatiqae. efr. No. 4 N. S. (May-June, 1878) pp. 511-3. The numbers one to four 
are expressed by perpendieular strokes (f, n, m, and im) for five there is a separate figure, and six to nine are expressed by 
the addition of units on the left side of this figure. Ten is expressed by Oi and twenty eto. by a corresponding number of o< 
Thus noo iB 22. For hundred and thousand the initial letters of the corresponding words are used. 

The Persian numerals as known are also diflTerent from the Indian. From one to ten, they are expressed by a corresponding 
number of angular marks: the mark for ten is combined in the same manner for the tens up to a hundred. Ofr. SpiegU, '^Altp. 
Keilinschriften" p. 160, and Eossowicz '^Lit. PalsBopersioarum enunciatio** (in his work on the inscriptions) p. 9. 




The ^Cave numerals' given in PI. xix. are taken from those which occur in the inscriptions of 
the Western Caves as far as the upper line is concerned; the lower are from the Mathura inscrip- 
tions^). The two inscriptions of the Vengi dynasty (as I have termed it already) which preceded 
the Calukyas, and therefore must be earlier than the seventh century A. D., have the plates num- 
bered. In one, numerals occur up to three, and in the other (which is given in Plates xx. and xxi.) 
up to four; these are collected in PI. xix. 

The horizontal strokes of the Gave numerals are here semi-circular, and the figure for four is 
also of a more cursive form. 

Much the same numeral figures appear to have been in use in the Cera kingdom at the end of 
the fifth century A.D. In the Mercara plates (ii. line 9) ocn sahasranadu occurs^). This is left 
unexplained by those who have attempted this inscription, but the figure is evidently a slight varia- 
tion of the Cave numeral 10, and the words thus should be read^^dagasahasranadu''; the ^Ten-thou- 
sand' being a division of the country, and probably referring to the tribute paid by it. 

I have not met with any other examples of this system of numerals in Southern India. 


The figures used in this system are given in PI. xix. from a MS. at Tanjore which belongs 
probably to the end of the sixteenth or beginning of the seventeenth century; as Tamil MSS. 
(except the very recent ones) are all undated, and these figures do not occur in inscriptions 
earlier than the sixteenth century, it is difficult to procure a complete series of an ascertained 
date. This is, however, of little importance; for the earliest examples are precisely of the same 
form as those still in use. 

These figures are remarkable as forming the stage of development between the Cave numerals 
and the modem systems, l^nd are, therefore, relics of a system that became more or less obsolete 
in the sixth century A. D.^) we find here separate figures for ten, hundred and thousand nearly 
identical with the Cave forms; but the figures for twenty etc. are rejected, and tens, hundreds or 
thousands are expressed by prefixing the sign for the units to the left side of the figure represent- 

_^ g_ _ _ 

1) Bo. J. Tiii. pp. 225-282; and J. B. A. S. New Series Y. pp. 182 ffg. For the figures believed to represent 50 and 70, 
see I. A. i., pp. 60-1. 

2) A good facsimile of these very important plates is given in the first Tolnme of the I. A. The explanation, however, needs 
maoh amendment. 

5) The Kaj^al m'entions acqaaintanoe with numbers (e^ijia) and letters as being like eyes to men. This is probably older 
than the ninth century A. D. 


— 52 — 

ing the order. The use of the cipher and value by position are Orantka (or Brahmanical), and 
till lately have been but little used, though Sanskrit MSS. are almost invariably numbered 
in this way. 

The figures to express fractions are peculiar to the Tamil people, and there are many others 
in use besides those which I have given, and which I have chiefly taken from the first edition of 
Beschi's Kodun-Tamil Grammar (p. 149). They are derived, no doubt, from initials of corresponding 
words, which abbreviations are also combined in some cases; the invention must be attributed to 
the Tamil traders of no very remote period*). 

The Tamil numeral figures are obviously cursive forms of the 'Cave numerals' modified by the 
prevailing practice of writing on palm-leaves with a style, a practice which renders necessary 
curved rather than straight lines, as the last, when with the grain or course of the fibres of the 
leaf, are nearly invisible. 

I have not been able to find any traces of distinct Vatteluttu numerals. 

The Malayalam numerals (which I have given in PI. xix.) are those in actual use. Their 
history is quite uncertain, as there are very few, if any, examples of them older than the middle 
of the last century, MSS. being numbered most generally with letters. They are evidently derived 
from the same source as the rest, and are nearest to the Tami| figures, but include the cipher. 
The Malayalam way of expressing fractions is the same as we find in the Telugu and Ganarese 
countries, and is, therefore, North-Indian. 


These suddenly appear in full use about 1300 A.D.^) with value by position and also the 
cipher, which is always represented in S. Indian documents by a small circle. In Northern 
India a dot also appears with this signification, but the necessity of writing on palm-leaves has, in 
S. India, led to the adoption of the circular form as alone perfectly distinct. 

The Telugu-Canarese numerals (as given in PI. xix. from a Halakannada MS. of 1428 A. D.) 
are almost identical in all the inscriptions across the peninsula, and remained the same till quite 
recently. In the Telugu inscriptions I have, however, observed, in some cases, a slight difference 
in the form of the figure 5, which sometimes wants the middle connecting stroke. The figure 3 is 
generally perpendicular in the Telugu inscriptions. 

The Telugu-Canarese system of fractions is, like the Tamil, based on a division of the unit into 
sixteen parts; they are marked by the N. Indian system, and this appears to be of recent 

U In the insoriptions (at Tai^ore e. g.) aU numbers and fractions whioh occur frequently, are written at fall len^h. 

^J If Sir W. Elliotts oolleotion of transcripts of inscriptions in the neighbourhood of the Krish^ft and Ood&yart can be trust- 
ed, the notation of dates by these numerals was not uncommon in the eleyenth century ; but I am inclined to think that this is 
not the case, and that the copyist has simply put the figures for words written at full length in the original.* The oldest inaorip- 
tion with a date in figures in Java appears to be 9. 1220 = A.. D. 1298. (y. Humboldt^s *^Kawi-sprache" L, p. 15.) 

— 53 — 

A comparison of the numeral figures in PL xix. will conclusively show that they are all more 
or less cursive modifications, of the Cave numerals. In the case of 5, 6, 8 and 9 it is evident that 
iheir originals must have been varieties of the latter which have not yet been met with; but as 
the Cave numerals are from Western and Northern India, and present already a number of distinct 
types, this is no real difficulty, for the perfectly evident origin of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 quite justifies 
the conclusion that the smaller number, of which the origin is less obvious, do in fact come from 
the same source^>. 


The different Methods of marking dates 

tised in South India. 

The numeral figures are only used in comparatively modern inscriptions, in the older ones 
and also in many modem ones the numbers are commonly expressed by words or letters. The 
eras and cycles to which the dates are referred also present considerable difficulty. 

§ L THB EBA8. 

A. OOhe Kaliyuga* 

The commencement of the Ealiyuga is put at 3,101 B.C. 

It was used in the fifth century A. D.^>, but has never become very general in inscriptions, 
and is now, in S. India, chiefly used in Malabar for the fanciful way of marking dates by a 
sentence. In most cases I have seen, the number of days^ and not of years is mentioned-*^^ 

B. The gaka Bra. 

This era is now usually supposed to date from the birth of a mythical Hindu sovereign called 
Qaliv&hana, who defeated the Qakas, and began Monday, 14th March 78 A. D. (Julian style). 
The account of the origin of this era has apparently been repeatedly modified to suit current 
ideas. In the earlier inscriptions it is usually called ^akavarsha, 'Qakasamvatsara' or *^aka- 
nripakala'; about the tenth century it is termed the year of the Qakaraja, Qakadhipa or Qaka- 
deva, and still later it is termed 'Qaliv^hanaQaka' or ^Qalivahana^abda.' 

1) The Oobar (or old Weetem and Pythftgoroan type) is from Woepcke^s "M^oire'* p. 49; the Deranftgart is from Prineep's 
'^Eaeays" as ooUeoted by Mr. Tlwmas. 

S) By Aryabhata. 

3} Warren's "Kala Sankallta" (p. 18) states that in 8. India it is nsual to date documents in both the Kali and Qsk?^ year. 
This is contrary to my experience. 

— 54 — 

Albirftni (A. D. 1031) speaks of tibis era as one in use by the astrologers^), and as they bad 
a great deal to do with royal grants by determining the auspidoos time for making them^ it is 
easy to see how this became the most usual way of marking the dates of inscriptions. But it is 
certain that this era was quite unsettled and comparatively little used before the tenth century. 
The earliest authentic inscriptions in which it occurs belong to the end of the fifth century A. D., 
but it is first mentioned by Var^ha Mihira, an astronomer who lived in the sixth century A. D.; and 
hemakes the commencement of it coincidewith Kali-year 3,179. The great popularity in all parts 
of India of this author's works is probably the reason why this is now the recognized computa- 
tion, but it has been adopted since the tenth century. Up to that date and even later, there are 
inscriptions with dates by the Qaka as well as other methods, (e. g. the Brihaspati cycle) which show 
a variation of two or three years, more or less, from the usual computation. AlbirtLn! (A. D. 
1031) mentions that the Qaka year then commenced 135 years after Vikramaditya; this is the 
received opinion, and from that century Qaka dates may be computed with certainty in the ordinary 
way. Before that period they must be considered as more or less uncertain. 

The QIaka year seems to have been originally introduced by the Jains, but though the inscriptions 
prove that their computation of it was the same as the brahmanical, the account they give of it 
differs from the ordinary one. The Trilokasara says: Panachassayavassam panamasajudam gamiya 
Viranibbuido I Sagarajo; to Kakki cadunavatiyamahiyasagamasam ||848i| C. Qrt-Viranathanivrit- 
teh sakaQat pancottarashatchatavarshani pancamasayutani gatva pa$cat Vikram&nka^^akarajo 
'js^yata | tata upari caturnavatyuttaratrigatavarshani saptam&sadhikani gatva pa^at Ealky aj&- 
yata || Now the death of YiranSLtha (or Mahavira) the last of the l^hankaras is put at 

388 B. C.2) ; then, according to the above, the Qaka era would begin in 239 A. D., but this is impos- 
sible, so the era of Mahavira must be put at 527 B. C. and this again differs from the era men- 
tioned by Prinsep as current in the North of India — 512 before Vikram&ditya or 569 B.C.') The 
Javanese Qaka era is 74 A. D., that of Bali 80 A. D. From these details some notion may be 
formed of the excessive uncertainty of Indian chronological data before the early centuries A.D. 
The more exact they appear to be the more suspicious they are. It is not too much to say that 
a tolerably exact chronology is only possible after the tenth century, and then by the aid of ins- 
criptions only*). 

1) *L'dre de Saoa, nommte pas lea IndianB Saoakila, est posterieare k oelle de Vikramaditya de 136 ans. Saoa est le 
nom d*un prinoe qui a r6gn6 sur les contr^s situ^ entre 1* Indas et la mer. 8a r^idenoe ^tait plaoee au centre de 1* empire, 
dana la oontrte nomm^ Aryavartlia. Les Indiens le font n&itre dans ane olasse autre que celle des Sakya; qaelqnes-nnB 
pr6tendent qn* il dtait Soudra et originaire de la Tille de Mansonra. II y en a mdme qai disent qn' il n*etait pas de la raoe 
indienne, et qu* il tirait son origine de r^ions ocoidentales. Les peuples enrent beaaooup k sonfflrir de son despotisme, 
jnsqu* & oe qn*il lenr vtnt da seoonrs de V Orient. Vikramaditya marcha oontre Ini, mit son arm^ en d^ronte et le tn» 
snr le territoire de Koronr, situ^ entre Monltan et le ohftteaa de Lonny. Cette ^poqne devint o^Mbre k oanse de la joie que 
les peoples ressentirent de la mort de Saoa, et on la choisit poor dre, principalement obex les astronomes*'. Tr. by AbbA Beinaud. 

2) According to tbe (c^tmnjaya-H&hfttmya. 

9) «nsefal Tables" p. 166 in Prinsep's "Essays" by Thomas, Vol. II. 

4) The equation for oonyerting this era into the Christian date is: + 78|. 


0. The VikrtMn&dUya Era. 

The passion for systematizing and thus falsifying even history in accordance with the popular 
astrological and religious notions of the day, has, it is evident from the above, led to repeated 
alterations in the dates assigned to real or fictitious events in Indian history. The era of Vikra- 
maditya is apparently one result of this folly. It is all but unknown in S. India (except in the 
Deccan), though under the name of 'Samvat' is the one most commonly used in the North. It is 
said to begin 57 years B. C.^) 

D. The Kolambanh (or QuHan) JEra. 

This is usually called a cycle^^, but it is in reality an era; it began in September 824 A. D. 
It is supposed to commemdrate the founding of EoUam (Quilon), and is only used in the S. Tamil 
country and Travancore'^. 

E* Cycle of Brihaspati. 

Each year in this cycle has a name, and in the inscriptions this is coupled with the Qaka year 
or year of the king's reign. The earliest examples to be met with in S. India in which the cyclic 
years occur are of about the tenth century. The names are as follows : 

1. Prabhava. 



Pramoda, Pramoddta. 
5. Prajapati. 




10. Dhatu. 




15. Vishu, Vrishabha (?). 




20. Vyaya. 




25. Ehara. 




30. Durmukhi. 

1) The eqaation is: + ^^l- 

•) •Cyele of Para^ur&ma" — Prinsep. 

S) The equation is: + 824]. 

^) According^ to H r. C. P. Brown the order is tometimee : Jaya, Yijaya. 

— 56 — 

Hevilamba. Paridh&vi. 

Vilambi. Pramadica. . | 

VikS^ri. Ananda. 

Qarvari. Baxasa. 

35. Plava. 50. Anala, Nala. 

Qubhakrit. Pingala. 

Qobhana, Qobbakrit. ESIayukta. 

Erodhi. Siddharthi. 

Vi^yayasu. Raudra, Baudri. 

40. Parabhaya. 55. Durmati. 

Playanga. Dundubhi. 

Eilaka. Rudhirodgslri. 

Saumya. Baktaxi, Bakti^a. 

Sadharana. Erodhana. 

45. Virodhikrit, Virodhakrit, Virodhyadikrit. 60. Xaya^^ 

This cycle is originally founded on a practice of reckoning time by the reyolutions of Jupiter 
(Brihaspati), but there is no record of its correct use; the present practice of erroneously reckon- 
ing sixty solar years as equal to flye reyolutions of the planet has always, it appears, preyailed 
as far back as reference to this method can be found. Though this cycle is in common use 
eyerywhere in the South, the names are often much yaried, especially by the Jains *>. It is not 
improbable that this system is an adaptation with Sanskrit names of an old way of reckoning 
time originally current in S. India; it is mentioned by Albirfini in the eleyenth century, but his 
reference to it is commonly understood to mean that it was of recent introduction in the North 
and West of India. 

This cycle as used in North and South India differs not in the names or order of the names 
but in the period at which the first year comes. In S. India the present year (1874) is Bhaya or 
the eighth of the cycle. This difference is owing to the practice which obtains in S. India and Tibet 
of considering the years of the cycle as identical in duration with the ordinary luni-solar year. 

F. Other Bras but little used. 

Some of the Gd^lukyas attempted to set up local eras, but these dates occur in comparatiyely 
few and unimportant inscriptions, and are too uncertain to be worth mentioning here. 

The South-Indian Cola and Pandya kings appear to mention the year of their reign most 
generally, and the second also, but rarely, the Quilon era. The task of establishing the suc- 
cession of these dynasties and the dates is thus likely to proye yery formidable; there is, howeyer, 

1) This list is compiled from Ck>l. Warren's ^'Kala Sankalita", Mr. C. P. Brown's '^CyoUo Tables'', insoriptions, and the 
practice of the people of B. India. 

S) The Tami.\ names are merely corrupt forms of the Sanskrit. For them see Besohi's Kodan-Tami][ Grammar. 


— 57 — 

some foundation in Marco Polo's mention of Sandara F&ndya as the king of the South in his 
time (13th century), and also in the synchronism between the Cola king Eulottunga and the 
Galukya Ahavamalla as established by Sir W. Elliot >>. 

The explanation of the date in the grant to the Cochin Israelites is not as yet certain. The 
term is: ^^Yandu irandam Undaikk' e5ir muppatta^am andu" — (i.e. literally) ^^the year opposite the 
second year, the thirty-sixth year." Ellis explained it^) by the thirty-sixth year of the third 
(? second) cycle, but it is impossible to reconcile it with the Quilon era, and it appears to me to 
mean the thirty-sixth year (of the king's life) opposite to (or corresponding with) the second year 
(of his reign). Similar dates occur in the Tamil inscriptions. 

The above information is sufficient to decide approasimately the dates of most S. Indian inscrip- 
tions; to do more it is necessary to know the complicated details of the luni-solar year as used in 
S. India, but this would need a large volume alone'). Eventually, no doubt, it will be necessary to 
take these details into account, as well as the references to eclipses which are so frequent in 
Indian grants, and by which it must often be possible to calculate the date with the utmost exact- 
ness; at present it is rather to be desired that existing inscriptions should be preserved, than 
that much time should be spent on any single one. 

The expunged and intercalated months and days are a chief feature in the luni-solar calendar, and 
now-a^ys great attention is paid to them in consequence of disputes on ceremonial matters; I 
have not seen these intercalated days or months marked in any old inscription, but in modem 
documents this is always done, and the absence of nifa or odMka in such a case would discredit 
any modem deed. 


A. By words. 

The earliest inscriptions found in S. India in which the date is referred to an era have it writ- 
ten at full length in words. After the seventh century the dates are mostlt/ expressed by significant 
words, and after the tenth century this is always done. These significant words appear to be a 
device of the Indian astrologers as the earliest examples occur in their treatises. The first com- 

1) Madrcu J. xiii., pt. 2, p. 40. See above p. 20. n. 

2) Do. pp. 8 and 10. Dr. Gnndert (do. pt. i. p. 137) doabts the meaning of edir. Dr. Caldwell {Comp, Or. p. 60 n.) 
takes it to mean the year of the cycle of sixty to vhioh the year of the kings' reign answers. 

S) Warren's "Kala Sankalita" (4o Madras, 1825) is stm the only work on this subject The information in Prinsep's ''Use- 
fal Tables'' is mostly from it. 

It has often been asserted and denied that traces are to be found of a primitiye (Dravidian) S. Indian calendar anterior 
to the present one which is entirely of Sanskrit origin, but nothing has as yet been adduced to prore the position. I find, 
however, that there is a Tnlu calendar which has names for the months different from the Sanskrit, and which are most deriv- 
ed from the Tulu names of crops reaped at those seasons. These months now agree practically with the luni-solar months, and 
the names are: Paggi^; Bef4; KArteln; Ati; Sona; NirnAla; Bonteln; J&rde; Per&rde; Piintel^; H&yi; SuggL Of these the 
second, fourth, and perhaps the ninth are of Sanskrit origin ; the rest are pure Tulu and have no connection with the Sanskrit 
names for divisions of time. 


— 58 — 

plete list is that given by Albirtin! (A.D. 1031); the following is from his list as translated by 
Woepcke^> supplemented from Brown's ^"Cyclic Tables" and inscriptions. As no limits can be 
placed to a fanciful practice like this, I cannot give this list as complete; it is merely an attempt 
to make a complete list'). 

Cipher Qdnya; kha; gagana; viyat; llkaga; ambara; abhra; ananta*; vyoma*. 

1 Adi; gafin; indu; xiti; urrara; dharft; pit&maha; candra; QftftrnQu; rtlpa; ragmi; 

prithiyi*; bhfk*; tanu*; soma-j-; nilyakaf ; yasudh&f ; Qa^ankaf; xmaf; dharanif. 

2 Tama; Agvin; ravicandrau; locana; axi; Dasra; yamala; paxa; netra; bahu*; 

karna*; kutumba*; karaf; drishtif. 

3 Trikala; trijagat; tri; triguna; loka; trigata; p&vaka; yaigvanara; dahana; tapana; 

hut&^na; jyalana; agni; yahni*; trilocana*; trinetra'*'; Rama'^; sahodara*; ^ikhinf; gunaf. 

4 Veda; samudra; sagara; abdhi; dadhi(?); di^; jala^aya; krita; jalanidhi'*'; yuga*; 

H koshtha"^; bandhu*; udadhif. 

5 QaJfA; artha; indriya; sayaka; yana; bhftta; ishu; Pandaya; tata; ratna*; pr&na*; 

suta*; putra*; yigikhaf; kalambaf ; m&rganaf. 

6 Rasa; anga; ritu; masarddha; raga*; ari*; dar^ana*; tarka*; mataf ; Qastra-|-. 

7 Aga; naga; paryata; mahidhara; adri; muni; rishi'*'; Atri*; syara*; chandas"^ ; 

a^ya*; dhatu*; kalatra*; ^laf. 

8 Yasu; ahi; gaja; dantin; mangala; n&ga; bhUti*; ibhaf ; sarpaf(?). 

9 Go; nanda; randhra; chidra; payana; antara; graha"^; anka*; nidhif; dyaraj-. 

10 Di{; a{^; kendu; rayana^ara; ayatara*; karma'*'. 

11 Rudra; I^yara; Mahadeya; axauhini; labha*. 

12 Stirya; arka; aditya; bhanu; masa; sahasrHmQa; yyaya*. 

13 Vigya; Manmatha*; Kamadeva*. 

14 Manu; loka*; Indra*. 

15 Tithi; paxa*; ahan*. 

16 Ashti; nripa; bhftpa; kala*. 

17 Atyashti. 

18 Dhriti. 

19 Atidhriti. 

20 Nakha; kriti. 

21 Utkriti; syarga*. 

22 Jati*. 

24 Jina*. 

i)<'M^moire'*pp. 108-9. 

X) This syBtem was first explained by t. Sohlegel. In the aboTe list I glye firstly those words giren by Albiriln! about 
which there can be no donbt; then others mentioned by Mr. G.P. Brown which I mark *. Lastly I add terms not already 
mentioned which I haye fonnd in inscriptions, and which I markf. This system is also used in the Jayanese inscriptions. See 
y. Humboldt's 'Kawi-Sprache** 1., pp. 19-42. 

^ = I 

— 59 — 

Albir&ni says that numbers beyond twenty-five were not noted in this way. 

27 Naxatra*. 

32 Danta*. 

33 Deva*. 

49 Tana*. 

This list might be made much more extensive, as it is obvious that any synonyms of any word 
that can be used to signify a number can be used; e.g. any word signifying ^moon' besides those 
mentioned as equivalent to 1, may be used for the same purpose, and so with the others. The 
ordinary numeral words are commonly mixed with the words given above. 

In marking numbers by this system units are mentioned first and then the higher orders; e.g. 
^shinagakhendusamvatsara is year 1087; guna^astrakhenduganitasamva^s 1063; dahanadrikhendu- 
ganitasamva'' = 1073. It appears, however, that occasionally in recent inscriptions the words are 
put in the same order as the figures are written. 

From 600 A.D. up to 1300 nine out of ten inscriptions that bear dates, have them expressed 
in this style, which is, therefore, of the greatest importance. 

B. ExpresaUm of numbers by letters. 

Three systems of this kind are known in India: that of Aryabhata, which he used in his trea- 
tises on astronomy, and which does not appear to have ever been used by any one else or in in- 
scriptions; that used in S. India (but almost exclusively in Malabar, Travancore and the S. Tamil 
country), in which the date is given by a chronogram; and a third system in which the letters 
of the alphabet are used to mark the leaves of MSS. \ 

It is unnecessary to describe the first as it is never used in inscriptions, and the text of 

Aryabhata's work (as yet almost inaccessible) is now being edited by Profr. Kern. 

The second system gives values to the consonants of the Sanskrit alphabet as follows:^) 

k kh g gh n 

12 3 4 5 

6 6h j ]Ii n 

6 7 8 9 

12 8 4 5 

t th d dh n 

6 7 8 9 

p ph b bk m 

12 8 4 5 

7ilv9 8h8hl 

1 2 8 4 5 6 7 8 9 

1) It was flrsi explained by the late C. H. Whish (in pt. L of the TV'aMocHom of the Madras Society). Hr. Whish was 
one of the first to pay attention to Sanskrit astronomy. He died at Cuddapah, April 18th, 1888. On this method of marking 
dates see also Z. d. D. H. G. xvii., pp. 778 ftg. (by Profir. Weber.) 



— 60 — 

The order of the letters is from right to left, in double letters the last pronounced consonant 
only counts, and TOwels haye no yalne. Thns Yishnn - 54; badhnati annam sasarpi = 17750603. 

4 5 S060ST71 

The peculiarity of this system is that it allows dates to be expressed by words with a connected 
meaning. This system was in use in the fifteenth century' >, but, apparently, not long before then. 
It is now much used for remembering rules to calculate horoscopes, and for astronomical tables. 
Its resemblance to the Semitic chronograms is complete. This method is also used in a kind of 
anukramani which exists for the Aig-, Tajur- and Samavedas, but apparently in S. India only 
These lists of contents (for they are no more) must be modem'>. 

The third system is only applied to numbering the pages of MSS.; it was used a good deal in 
Malabar, and also occasionally in the Telugu country, but not to any extent in MSS. written in 
this century. It is also known in Ceylon and Burmah. By this system the consonants (with short 
a, and in their usual order) stand for 1, 2, etc. up to 34, and then they are repeated with long 
&, e.g. ka = 35, kha 36 and so on. By the addition of the other yowels the series may be continu- 
ed to a considerable length. This is probably the use to which the Qabdamanidarpana (p. 22) 
alludes when the author says that in Canarese the aspirates are only used as numerals. This 
grammar is of about the twelfth centuty. 



1 HERE is very little to be said about the method of accentuating Yedic MSS. in S. India, as this 
is but seldom done at all, and the accented MSS. hardly deserve mention here as they are rarely 
above a century old. 


In the oldest MSS. only the udcttta is marked. In the Telugu MSS. this \& generally done by a 
circle o; in the Grantha MSS. the letter u or a circle is written above the syllable, thus: s_, o. 

1) I. A. iL, pp. 361-2. 

*) «Catalogae** p. 49. 'Index to Taqjore HSS." p. 4. 

— 61 — 

In this respect MSS. of the Samhita and Padapatha agree^>. In the last the words are separated 
by a perpendicular stroke: | The avagraha is seldom marked, but when it is done a zigzag line is 
used: { 


The accentuation of the Sama Veda as used in south India is a subject beset with difficulties, 
and of which it is impossible here to give more than a very brief notice, for not only do the MSS. 
of different Qdkhds present different systems, but the MSS. of the text followed by one and the 
same Qakha often present essential variations'). MSS. of the Arcika parts of this Veda are seldom 
accented, as being of little importance, for the g&nas really constitute the Veda. Occasionally one 
finds the udatta marked by a circle. The musical notation of the ganas as practised in S. India 
is very complicated, and is explained in a separate paribhdshd^K It appears to be on much the 
same principle as the musical notation of the ancient Greeks, and consists in using combinations 
of a consonant with a vowel to express a group of notes. This old system (as it is termed) has 
been nearly superseded by the N. Indian notation by numbers, which was introduced from Gujarat 
into Tanjore during the last century at the earliest. Even now, it is excessively hard to find a 
Sdma-Vedt who can give any explanation at all of these notes, and in a few years the only guides 
will be the treatises on the formation of the gdnas^ which indeed are probably the only safe ones 
at present. 

Palseographically the notation of the Vedic accents is a subject almost devoid of interest. The 
different methods used for the different Vedas are all of very recent origin, comparatively; and 
have arisen in different parts of India much about the same time, and in consequence of the 
decay of the old way of learning the Vedas by heart. In S. India there is no pretence of a com- 
plete or even uniform system, and MSS. with accents do not appear to occur before the middle of 
the sixteenth century. The multitude of treatises on Vedic phonetics still existing in S. India 
must always have made the want of accented MSS. but little felt, and all the old Vedic Brahmans 
that I have met with, never attached the least value to them. 

As the S. Indian alphabets have no system of accents at all agreeing with those in use in the 
North of India, it follows that in the early centuries A. D. the accents were not marked at all. 


The edicts of Afoka cannot be said to have any marks to indicate the close of a sentence, and 
the perpendicular stroke | is not much used in the inscriptions of the early centuries after the 
Christian era. In them the single | and double || stroke both occur with precisely the same signi- 

1) As I haye repeatedly stated elsewhere, the Atharva Veda is unknown to the 8. Indian Brahmans. In Weber's <^Indi8che 
Stndien*^ (ziii., 118) there is an account of the accentuation of a Nandin&gart HS. of the JSig Veda. 
S) See my * Catalogue of a Collection of Sanskrit MSS." pt. i., pp. 88, 49. 
8) I haye already given specimens, with an account of the * Partbhdshi^^ in my * Catalogue" pp. 44-5. 



The South-Indian inscriptions present but very little variety, and are estsily reduced to the follow- 
ing classes : 


It is necessary to carefully distinguish (as is done in the Dharma^astra), between documents 
of this description by reigning soyereigns and by private persons. The first are of immense 
importance for history, the last are seldom (as I shall show), of any value in this respect. 

A. JRoycd grants. 

The pedantry of the brahmanical lawyers is not content with directing kings to be liberal to 
the priests, but also prescribes the exact forms in which this virtue is to be practised. According 
to the Nitimaytlkha (16th cent.) these are as follows: The king on rising is to perform his usual 
ablutions and, if the day for it, have his head shaved. He is then to hear the Almanac read, and thus 
know what luck is promised, and what should be done or not. Then he must give a cow with its calf 
to a Brahman, and having beheld the reflection of his face in ghee placed in a flat dish, he should 
give that ghee also with some gold to a Brahman. After this on occasion of the moon's quarters 
and eclipses, he should make a gift of land or a grant payable in kind, to Brahmans of course. 
The secondary Dharma^astras first mention grants of this description, and {e.g. Yajnavalkya Dh. q.) 
give the form of the wording, the same as appears in the oldest grants now existing. They were, 
therefore, drawn up according to rule, and the gradual extension of the original formula appears 
to correspond exactly with the rise of new dynasties. 

The passage in Yajnavalkya is as follows (i., 317-9):*) 

datY& bhttmim nibandham y& krlty& lekhyam ta kftrayet | 
Agftmibhadran^ipatiparyn&nftya p&rthivaA II 
pate ▼& t&mrapate y& STamudroparioihnitam | 
abhilekhy& *tmano Tam^y&n &tmftnam ca mahtpatiA II 
pratigrahaparimft^ani dAnaoohedopaTarnanam | 
Bvahastak&lasampaimam ^sanam kftrayet sthiram II 

~ 64 

As they stand, these lines may be ascribed to the earlier centuries of the Christian era. The 
Mitaxara on this runs: ^Tathoktavidhinabhiimim datva svatvaniyrittim kritvsl 'nibandhain va' ekasya 
bhandabharakasye 'yanto r^paka ekasya parnabharakasye 'yanti parnanl 'ti va nibandham kritya 
4ekhyam karayet' kimartham 'agamina' eshyanto ye ^bhadra^* sadhavo bhtipatayas tesham anena 
dattam anena parigrihitam iti ^parij/ianaya parthivo' bhtipatir anena bhlipater eva bhtlmidane 
nibandhadane va 'dhik§,ro na bhogapater iti dargitam | ^lekhyam karayed' ity uktam katham karay- 
ed ity aha 'pate' iti dvabhyam karpasike pate 'tamrapate' tamraphalake ^ya 'tmano vamgyan' 
prapitamahapitamahapitrtn bahuvacanasya 'rthavatvat svayamQayiryagrutadigunopayarnanapiiryar 
kam abhilekhya 'tmanam ca gabdat pratigrihitaram pratigrahaparim§.nam danacchedopayarnanam 
ca 'bhilekhya pratigrihyata iti pratigraho nibandhas tasya rCLpakadiparimanam diyata iti dUnam 
xetradi tasya cchedaA chidyate yicchidyate 'nene 'ti cchedo nadyadau parimanam tasyo 'payarna- 
nam amukanadya daxinato 'yam gramaA xetram ya p&ryato 'mukagramasyai 'tayanniyartanapari- 
manam ca lekhyam eya 'ghatasya nadinagarayartmadaA sancarityena bhttmer nyHnadhikabhayasam- 
bhayan niyrittyartham 'syahastena' syahastalikhitena matam ma amukanamno 'mukaputrasya yad 
atro 'pari likhitam ity anena sampannam samyukta;?) kalena ca dyiyidhena gakanripatitasamyatsarsr 
rupena ca danakalo candrasdryoparagadina sampannam syamudraya garudayarahadirtipayo 'pari 
bahig cihnitam ankitam sthiram dridham gasana^n gishyante bhayishyanto nripatayo 'nena danac 
chreyo 'nupalanam iti gasanam 'karayen' mahipatir na bhogapatiA sandhiyigrahadikarina na yena 
kenacit ''sandhiyigrahakari tu bhayed yas tasya lekhaka^ syayam r£tjna 'dishtaA sa likhed raja- 
gasanam" itismaranat danamatrenai 'yadanaphale siddhe gasanakaranam tatrai 'ya bhogadiyriddhya 
phalatigayartham || 

The Mitaxara was (as has been shown by Dr. Biihler) written in the reign of the Calukya Vikra- 
maditya V., or at the end of the eleyenth and beginning of the twelfth century A. D.^> 

About a century or so later than the Mitaxara the Sm|iticandrika was compiled by Deyanna; 
this also belongs to Southern India, and the section on documents is, therefore, of interest. It runs: 
Atha lekhyanir&panam | tatra VasishthaA | 

'^Laulukam r&jaktyam ca lekhyam yidy&d dYilaxanam** | 

C. ^Laukikam' janapadam || tatha ca SangrahakaraA | 

'^B&jaktyam j&napadam likhitam dviTidham Bm^itam" iti | 

Tatra 'rajaldyam' gasanadibhedena caturyidham ity aha Vasishtha^ | 

'^Q&sanam prathamam jneyam jayapatram tathft param | 
&jn&prajnftpan&patre r&jaktyam oaturyidham" i| 

Tatra gasanawi nir&payitum aha Yajnayalkyah | (See y. 317 aboye.) 

C. ^NibandhaA' banijyadikaribhiA pratiyarsha/n pratimasam ya kimcid dhanam asmai brahmanaya 
'syai deyatayai ya deyam ityadi prabhusamayalabhyo 'rthaA | atra yady api dhanad&trityam bani- 
jyadikartus tathS, 'pi nibandhakartur eya punyam taduddegenai 'ye 'tarasya prayritteA | 'bhumim' 
iti gramaramadinslm upalaxanartham I ata eya BrihaspatiA 

1) Bombay Journal, ix., pp. 184-8. 

— 65 — 

"Dattvi bhdmy&dikam rdj& t&mrapstte tathft pate | U 
^sanam k&rayed dharmyam Bth&naTamQ&diflamyiitam" || 

C. ^Earayet' BandhivigraMdyadhikarinam iti qesha^h | tasyai 'ya 'tra lekhane kartritvaniyamat 
tathd. ca VyasaA | 

B&J& tu BTayam ftdishtaA Bandhivig^rahalekhakaA | 
tAmrapatte pate y& 'pi yilikhedS) rftjafftsanam | 
kriyAk&rakasambandhafn Bam&B&rthakriy&nyitam || Iti 

C. Eriy^karakayoA sambandho yasmin Qasane tat tatho 'ktam | samasarthakriyaiiYitam samxiptd^ 
rthopany^sakriyaya samanvitam ity arthaA | tamrapattadau lekhaniyam artham aha YajnavalkyaA | 

A.bhilekhy& 'tmano vamQy&n fttm&nam ca inahtpatiA | 
pratigrahaparim&nam danacchedopaTarnanam || iti | 

C. Uddhritamahimandalasya QripateA varihavapusho varadanapratipMakam a^irvS-dam^) adav 
d.c3,rapraptam ^abhilekhya' 'nantaram 'atmano YAmqjkn' prapitamahapitamahapitrakhyams trin 
uktakramena (auryadigunavarnanadvara 'atm^nam' caturtham ^abhilekhya' 'pratigrahaparimanadi- 
kam' lekhayed^) ity artha^ | pratigrihyata iti pratigrahaA | bhtimyadir nibandhaQ ca | tasya parima- 
nam iyatta | 'danacchedo' diyamanabhiiinyader maryad^ | 

Vyaso 'pi | 

Sam&m&satadardh&harnripan&mopalaxitam | 
pratigrahttr^&tyMisag^otrabrahmac&rikam I| iti || 

C. SampradanasyS. 'sadMranatyavabodhakam jatikulaQakhadikam api lekhantyam ity uttarar- 
dhasy^ 'rthaA | tathd. 'nyad api^^ lekhaniyam sa eva 'ha | 

SthAnam Tamg&nupiirYyam ca degam gr&mam apftgatam | 
9 br&hman&mB tu tathft cA *ny&ii m&ny&n adhikrit&n likhet |1 
kntambino *tha k&yasthadtltaTaidyamahattar&n j 
mleochaoaodftlaparyant&n sarr&n Bambodhayan || 
m&t&pitror Atmanay oa puny&y& 'mukasdnaTe | 
dattam may& *muk&y& 'tha d&nam sabrahmao&rine || iti || 

Brihaspatir api 

An&ochedyam an^hftryam Bnrrabh&yyaTiyaijitam | 
oandr&rkaBamak&ltnam putrapautrftnTay&nagam H 
d&iuh p&layitu^ Bvargam hartur narakam era ca | 
BhashtiyarBhasahaBr&ni d&n&cchedaphalam likhet || iti || 

C. Agaminrip§.dibodhan3,rthani iti QeshaA | ata eva VyasaA | 

ShaBhtiyarBhaBahasr&^i d&n&oohedaphalam tathA | 
ftg&minripaB&mantabodhan&rtham nripo likhet || 

Tathd. 'pi (lok§.ntaram api lekhaniyam^) tenai 'ya pathitam 

1) V. Z. ^patte 'thay& pate. 

2) V. I. prali* 

3} V. L A^tryaoanam. 

A) V. U lekhyam, 

^) V. h tad anyad api. 

6) V. L Qlok&ntaralekhanam api. 




— 66 — 

BAmAnyo ^jmn dlwrmftsetmr arf p&BAm 

kile kAle pAUntyo bhATMbliiAi) 1 
MiT&D etin^) bharinmA p&rthiTendr&ii 

bhftyo bhAyo yieate rAraabbadraA U iti Q 

Tato r^ja Byayam svahastam likhet | tatha ca sa eya | 

SanniTe^m praminam ca srabaflUst ea likbet arayam 1 iti Q 

C. Matam me 'mnkaputrasya 'mukasya mahipater yad atro 'pari likhitam iti srayani likhed ity 
arthaA | lekhaka^; ca syanama likhet | tatha ca sa eva | 

BandbiTigrahak&rt oa bhared yaf ek *pi lekbakaA | 
trayaflva rAjnA samidiahtaA sa likbed rAja^anam 
sranAma tn likhet pafcAn madritam r&J9]iiiidray& | 
grftmaxetragrih&dtnim tdrik ayAd r&jafAaanara il iti || 

C. Etac ca pratigrahitur arpaniyam tasyo 'payogitvat | ata era YishnoA | 

Pate T& timrapatte ▼& likhitam STanmdrAnkasii c4 ^g&minripatipargn&n&rtham dadyftt 1 iti Q 

Sangrahakaro 'pi | 

RAjaarahafltaeihnena rftjodde^ena Bamyutam | 
yvktam rAJ&bhidh&iieiia mudritam rJ^amndrayft U 
BTalipyaiiaTafabdoktiaampilrn&TayaT&xaram | 
(Aaanam rdjadattam ayftt sandhiTigrahalekhakaiA fl iti | 

C. Sandhivigrahalekhakair likhitam uktavidham anyasmai rajadattam gasanakhyaw lekhyavji 
syad ity arthaA | etac ca Qasanam^) na danasiddhyartham tasya pratigrahenai 'va siddheA | kim tu 
dattasya sthairyakaranartham sthiratve 'xayaphala^ruteA | tatha hi | 

Bnnaddhi rodaai e& 'sya y^Tat klrtia taraarinf ] 
t&yat kil& 'yam adhyftate aukritt Taibudham padam |1 

Anenai 'y& 'bhiprayena Tajnayalkyeno 'ktam^> | 

STahaatakftlaaampannam ^Aaanam kirayet sthiram 1 iti 

C. ^Ealasampaniiam' samyatsaradiviQeshitadanadino 'petam | tatha ca VyasaA | 

Jn&tam maye 'ti likhitam d&tr& *dhyazixarair yntam | 
abdam&aatadardh^or&jamadr&nkitam tathft | 
anena TidhinA lekhyam rftjagAsanakam likhet U iti II 

Tatha sa eya jayapatram nirtlpayitum aha | 

YyaTAh&r&n arayam driahtrft ^ratrft t& pr&dyiT&kataA j 
jayapatram tato dady&t paryn&n&ya p&rthiyaA || 

Easmai dadyad ity apexite sa eya 'ha | 

Jangamam sth&yaram yena pram4neii& 'tmaaAtkritam | 
bh&g4bhig&paaandigdho yaA aamyag vijayt bhaTet j 
tasya rkjnk pradAtavyam jayapatram snni^citam jj 

Brihaspatir api | 

PArrottarakriy&yiiktam nirnayAntam yad& nripaA | 
pradady&j jayine lekhyam jayapatram tad ucyate |1 

1) V. I mahAdbhlA. 
') V. /. jkmq oA *py anyin. 
^) v.L (Aaanadinam. 
^) V. I. ^nk *py aktam. 


— 67 — 

C. Pftryottarakriyayuktam iti vrittantopalaxanartham | yata aha sa eva | 

Tad Trittam TjaTahAre tn pdrrapaxottar&dikam | 
kriyl^Yadh&ranopetam jayapatre *khilam likhet || 

VyS.80 'pi I 

P4rTottarakriy&p&dam pram&nam tatpartxanam | 
nigadam BmrltiT&kyam oa yAth&sabhyam vini^oitam | 
efcat Barvam samllBena jayapatre *bhilekhayet || iti | 

C. 'Eriyapadam' kriyabhimarQanapadam pratyakalitapadam iti y^vat | ^nigaday saxivacanam 
^yathasabhyam' sabhyanatikramena | 'samasena' samxepena | Eatyayano 'pi j 

ArthipratyarthiT&ky&ni pratyn& sftxiT&k tath& | 
nirnaya^ oa yath& tasya jathk ek *yadhritam srayam | 
etad yath&xaram lekhye yath&piinram niYe9ayet || iti | 

C. 'Yathap&rvam' ity etat tena prapancitam | 

iLbhiyoktrabkiyuktftn&m raoanam pr&n Tiye^ayet | 
sabbyAnAm pr&dTiT&kasya kul&n&m t& tataA param | 
ni^oayam smritifAstrasya matain tatrai 'ra lekhayet || iti | 

C. 'Matam' nripsldinam iti ^eshaA | tal lekhanam tu svahastena parahastato matalekhanasya 
yath& c& 'vadbritam ^svayam' ity anena p^rvam eva yihitatvat | ata evo 'kta/n tenai 'va I 

BiddhenA 'rthena aamyojyo v&dt satkArapdrrakain j 
lekbyam STahaatasafnyaktam tasmai dadyAt tu pArthiraA I| 
sabbAaada^ oa ye tatra smritigAstraTidaA sthitAA | 
yathAlekhyam yidhan tadyat BTahastam tatra dApayet |1 iti | 

C. Baj& tS.n sabby&n jS^napadalekhyavaj jayapatre svahastam d&payed ity artbaA | Vriddbayasi- 
shtbo 'pi I 

PrAdriTAkAdihaBtAnkam mudritam r^amudrayA | 
aiddhe *rtbe rAdine dadyAj jayine jayapatrakam || 

G. Eyam uktam jayapatram pagcatkaram^) ity aba EatyayanaA | 

Anena vidhinA lekhyam paQoAtkAram Tidur badbAA | iti { 

C. Ayam ca pagc&tkaro nirnayavigesba eva na sarvatre 'ty aba sa eva | 

NiraatA tu kriyA yatra pramAnenai ya yAdinA | 
pagoAtkAro bbavet tatra na BarrAsu vidbtyate i| 

C. Eriyslsadbyam pramS.nenai 'ye 'ti yadamQ catusbpad yyayabara eya pagcatkaro na dyipad yya- 
yab&ra iti katbayati | 

Spasbtikritam cai 'tad Bribaspatina | 

SAdhayet') sAdbyam artbam tn oatnahpAdanyitam jaye | 
rAjamndrAnyitam oat 'ya jayapatrikam iabyate |t iti | 

G. Dyipadyyayabitre tu bbasbottar^nyitam jayapatram asyai 'ya paQc3>tkarasyai 'ya tatra prati- 
sbedbat^^ | anyad api jayapatram tenai 'yo 'ktam | 

AnyapAdAdibtnebbya itareabAm pradtyate | 
yrittAnnyAdaaamsiddham tao oa syAj jayapatrakam I| 

1) V. Z. eyam jayapatram pa^oAtkArAkbyam. 

S) V. I, aAdbayan. 

') V. L 'yA *sadanayAdakatyena tatra prati^. 



— 68 — 
C. ^^Itaresham" hinayadin§,m ity arthaA | &jnflprajn§.panapatre dye Vasishthena dar^ite | 

S&manteBhy atha bhrityeslia rllshtrap&l&dikeBhn rk | 
k&ryam ftdigyate yena tad &jnftpatram uoyate |) 
ritTikpurohit&o&ryam&nyeshT abhyarhiteshu oa | 
k&ryam nivedyate yena patram prajnftpan&ya tat || iti || 

Brihaspatir anyad api rajakiyam prasadalekhyakhyam^^ aha | 

De^&dikam yatra r&j& likhitena prayacckati | 
seTftgauryftdina tushtaA pras&dalikhitam hi tat II iti | 

C. Ato rajakiyam pancavidham caturyidham iti anasthayo 'ktam^^ iti mantavyam | 
Janapadam punar Yyasena nirupitam | 

Likhej jftnapadam lekhyam pra8iddhaBth4nalekhakaA j 
r&jaTam^akramayufcam yarBham&s&rdhay&BaraiA || 

C. ^Yutam' ity anushajyate | 'vasaram^)' dinam | anyad api lekhayitayyam ity aha sa eva | 

Pitripdryan&majfttidhanikarnikayor likhet | 

drayyabhedafn pramAnam oa yriddhim oo *bhaya8ammatAiii || 

G. Ubhayasammatir dravyader api yiQeshanam | ata eva TSjnayalkyaA | 

YaA ka^oid artho nishn&taA syaraoyft tu paraBparam | 
lekhyam tu B&zimat kAryam taBmin dhanikapikryakam j) 

C. 'Dhanikaptiryakam' dhanikanamalekhanapttryam | ^saximat' nishnatarthajnatribhtitamadhya 
sthajananamanyitam | tatha kaladhanikarnikasSjcyadilekhanlyasya yayat& yi^shanena nishthatya- 
siddhis tayadyi^eshananyitam lekhyam karyam ity &ha sa eya | 

Sam&m&Batadardh&harn&majAtiByagotrakaiA j 

C. ^Sabrahmacarikam' bahyricaA katha ityadi gakhaprayuktam gunanama | ^atmtyapitrin&ma' 
dhanikasaxinam api pitrinama | 'adi'-gabdena de(acarayaptay&rd,di grihyate | ata eya YyasaA | 

De^asthityA kriy&dh&napratigrahayioihnitam | iti |1 

C. ^DeQasthitya' kriyadeQacaranusarena karanam |' 'adhanam' &dhih | Narado 'pi | 

Lekhyam oa B&ximat k&ryam ayiluptakram&xaram^J | 
de^AcAraBthitiyatamS) aamagram aaryayastuBha I| 

Vasishtho 'pi | 

KAlam niye^ya r&jAnAm athAnam niyaaitam^) tothA | 
dAyakam grAhakam oai 'ya pitrinAmnA oa Bamyntam || 
jAtim syagotram (AkhAm oa drayyam Adhim aaBankhyakam | 
yriddhim grAhakahastam oa yiditArthau oa aAxi^aa || iti | 

Grahakahastaniyeganaprakaram^) aha YajnayalkyaA | 

SamApte 'rtha rint nAma syahaatena niye^ayet j 
matam me 'mokapntrasya yad atro 'pari lekhitam || 

^)v,l. ^Akhyam patram. 

2} V. I. anAdaroktam. 

S) V. I. yAsaraA. 

^) V, U ayiluptakriyAnyitam. 

S) V. I. kramAxaram degAoAra. 

0) V. /. niyasanam. 

7) V, I. ^niyecapra®. 

— 69 — 

C. <Upari' iti vadan pHrvalikhitaxarasamsthan&d adhastat svahastdxarasamsth^nam iti dar^a- 
yati I vini' iti saxinam api pradar^an^rtham | tatha ca sa eva | 

Silxina^ oa syahaBtena pitrinAmakap^rrakam | 
atr& *ham amnkaA aftzt likheynr iti te BAmth || 

C. Ye 'tra^> lekhye likhitaA s^xinas te 'py amukaputro 'muko 'trS, 'rthe sax! 'ti pratyekam 
likheyu^ | te ca^) dvitvadisamasankhyaya vigishta bhaveyuA | na tritvadivishamasankhyaye 'ty 
arthaA | ^8&xinaA' iti bahuyacanam gurutarakaryalekhyayishayam | 

UttamarD&dhamarnau oa s&xinau lekhakas tath& | 

• • « * 

Bamay&yena oai 'teah&m lekhyam knrrtta n& 'nyath& || iti | 

C. Harttena lekhyamitre *8axinau' ity uktatvad na tritvadiyishamasankhyaye 'ty arthaA | 
kenacid akarapra^lesliakalpanaya saxisankhyaniyamo yaiparityena yarnitaA | sa yasmin de^e yathai 
'y§, 'caras tatrai 'ya grahyaA na 'nyatr^ 'syarasarthatyat | eyam ca 'nyakritalekhyasyo 'ttamarn§r- 
dhamarnasaxidyayalekhakar^pa^^ pancapurushariidhatyat pancarfidham patram iti loke yyaya- 
haraA | sS.xisankhy§i»dhikatye ca 'yam^^ yyayaharo gauna iti mantayyam | lekhyamatram prakritya 
Vyasena 'py uktam | 

^inihastam n&mayatafn s&xibhyiLm pitripiirrakRin I iti | 

C. Ato dyiprabhritibhiA samair bhayitayyam iti niyamo degacarayirodhanusandheyaA'^^ | yada 
tu lipyanabhijnaA saxi rini ya^) tada Narada aha | 

Alipgna rint yu,k sy&l lekhayet STamatam?) tu saA | 
8&xt ▼& B&xin& *nyena Baryas^xisamtpataA i| 
vij&ttyalip^no 'pi syayam eya likhel lipim^) | 
Baryaj&napad&B yarn&n lekhye tu ylmye^ayet || 

Iti Eaty^^yanasmaranac ca | saxisyahastalekhananantaram YajnayalkyaA | 

Ubhayilbhyarthitenai 'yam inay& hy amuka8iinan& | 
likhitam hy amukene 'ti lekhako 'nte tato likhet || 

Vyaso 'pi | 

Mayo 'bhayA>bhyarthiteii& 'makenH^) 'makaBilnuii& | 
Byahastayuktam syam nama lekhakas ty antato likhet | 
eyamiO) j&napade lekhye yyftsenA 'bhihito yidhiA || iti | 

C. Antato lekhyasye 'ti ^eshaA | eyam nktalekhyam ashtayidham ity aha sa eya | 

Cirakam oa syahastam ca tatho 'pagfatasanjnitam | 
Adhipatram oaturtham ea pancamam krayapatrakam || 
shashtham tu sthitipatr&khyam saptamam sandhipatrakam [ 
yiguddhipatrakani oai 'yam ashtadhft laukikam smritam || iti | 

V. /. tatra. 

S) V. I te 'pi 

9) V. I. *m. riipa. 

^)v.l. ^sankhyftdhikye ty ayam. 

ft) V. I, <*yirodheu& 'nusandheyaA. 

^) V. L lipyanabhynAA s&xina rint oa. 

7)v.2. aammatam. 

8) V. I. lipijnaty&t. 

9) V. I. yukteiiA. 
10) 9. ;. esha. 

— 70 — 

C. Na 'tra sankhya yiyazita Tibhigapatrader api laukikaty&t | tatra ^drakasya' laTanam aha 
SangrahakaraA | 

Cirakam n&ma likhitam pnr&naiA pauralekbakaiA | 
arthipratyarthinirdishiair yatkiaambhaTasaaiifcritoUl) H 
STaktyaiA pitrin&mid jair arthipratyartliia&xin&m | 
pratin&mabhir ftkranUm artluBixiBTaliasUTat | 
BpashUTapatasafn jnktam yathAsnrityiiktalaxanaiii || tti B 

C. ^SamstutaiA' pra^^tair ity arthaA | Eatyayanas ta sraliastam aha | 

Or&hakena srahastena likhitam sixiTaijitem | 
■rahastalekhyain Tgneyam pramAnaai tat smritaia bvdIiaiA | 

C. Evam eva dayakena likhitam grahakensl 'bhynpagatam lekhyam upagatlUiyaoi Tijneyam || 
adhipatram &ha NaradaA ] 

Adhim kritri ta 70 draTjam praynnkte sradliaiiaai dhast | 
jat tatra kriyate lekhjam Adh^atraai tad neyate g 

Anyadhilekhye vi^ham aha PrajapatiA | 

Dhant dhanena tenai Wa param idhiai nayed yadi | 
Bmritrk tad Adhilikhitam pArram e& ^sya aamarpajet Q 

Erayapatram Pitamaheno 'ktam | 

KiUe krayaprakft^rtham draTye yat kriyate kraeit | 
Tikretranamatam kretr& jneyam tat krayapatrakam fl 

Sthitipatradini punaA Eatyayaneno 'ktani | 

C&tarridyapura^eiiiganapaiir&dlkafltliitiA | 
tatsiddkyartham t« yal lekhyam tad bhaTet sthitipatrakam || <) 
uttamesba samaateshT abbi^pe aam&gate | 
Tritt&nar&de lekbyam yat taj jneyam sandbipatrakam || 
abbi^pe samntttrne prftya^itte krite janalA | 
Ti^piddblpatrakam jneyam tebbyaA s&xiaamanTitaa fl iti | 

Brihaspatir api lekhyayibhagam aha | 

Bb&gad&nakiiyftdb&nam samTid&nam rtbir^bbiA | 
8aptadb& lankikam lekhyam triTidham raja^aaanam H 

C. Atra 'pi na sankhya yivaxita | adhikanam api lekhyanim etebhyo dargitatyat | ata ey§. 'tra 
'digrahanam kritam | anyatha ganitair eya saptayidhatyasiddher adigrahanam apartham'^ sy&t | 
tenai 'ya taj jnHyate lekhyasankhya na 'yadharanarthe 'ti | ato yiyidhasankhyayadyacan&nam aviro- 
dhaA^^ I bhagalekhyadikam syayam eya yyacashte | 

Bhr&taraA samTibhaktA ye sraracylL tn parasparam | 
Tibb&gapatram kunranti bh^alekhyam tad neyate I| 
bbiimiifi dattT& tn yat patram knry&c candrftrkak&likam | 
an&echedyam an&bdryam d&nalekhyam ta tlid TidaA 
grihaxetr&dikam krttrd talyamiily&xar&nTitam | 
patram k&rayate yat ta krayalekhyam tad aoyate (| 

v./. samatataiA. 

V V. L stbitipatram tad acyate. 

S) V. /. anartbam. 

^) v.l. ato na Tividha^ virodhnA. 

— 71 — 

jangamam slhlkTaram bandham dattrft lekhyatn karoti yat 1) | 
gopyabhogyakriy&ynktam ddhilekhyam tad ucyate 1| 
grAmo deQa^ oa yat kary&n matam lekhyam^) parasparam | 
rAj&Tirodhi dharm&rtham samvitpatram Tadanti tat || 
▼aBtr&imalitnaA k&nt&re likhitam karute ta yat 3) | 
karm&fi te kariBhy&mi d&sapatram tad ucyate || 
dhanam Triddhy& grihttra sTayam kary&c ca k&rayet.| 
nddhArapatram tat proktam rinalekhyam mantshibhiA |1 

Anyad api laukikam lekhyam 4ha ES^tyajanaA | 

Stm&yivAde nir^tte stm&patram Tidbtyate | Itl 

Y&jnayallgro 'pi | 

Dattr* 'r^am p&^yel lekbyam yuddbyai 't& 'nyat tu k&rayet | iti 

Lekhyaprayojanam &ha MariciA | 

Stb&Tare vikray&db&ne ribbfige dftna eya oa | 
likbitenA 'pnuy&t aiddhim aYiaamT&dam eva oa ^) \\ 

C. 'Adhanam' adhiA | adyag ca^abda rinadinishnatarthasangraharthaA | ayisamvadaA kaUntare 
'pi nishn&tarthasya 'nanyathabhavaA | evam ca sthavaradav avisamyadena siddhim alocya rSjayamQa- 
yarshadilekhaniyanllm^) | ayapody3.pau karyau tesham drishtarthatyat | ato na danadilekhye dhani- 
karnikadilekhantyam | na 'pi rinadanadilekhye pratigrahadikam | eyam anyatra 'pi lekhye lekha- 
niyasamMianiyain drishtaprayojanatyal lekhyasya | ata eya 'kritaprayojanasya lekhyasya karya- 
xamatyena lekhyantaram utpadyam | ata eya 'ha YajnayalkyaA | 

De^ftntarastbe durlekhyo nashtonmriahte brite tath& | 
bbinne dagdbe tatb& obinne lekbyam anyat tu k&rayet || 

C. ^De^ntarasthe' saryadh^ 'netum aQakyasthanasthe | ^durlekhye' durayabodhaxare | ^bbinne' 
dyidha jMe | ^cbinne' Qtrne | Eatyayano 'pi | 

Malair yad bbeditam dagdbam obidritam yttam era t& | 
tad anyat kArayel lekbyam sredeno 'llikbitam tatbA || 

C. ^Yitam' yigatam | 'ullikhitam' unmrisbtam | yat punar Naradeno 'ktam | 

Lekbye deQ&ntaranyaate ftr^e durllkbite brite^) | 
eatas tatk&lakaranam aaato draBbtridar^anam || iti 

C. Tat tathai 'ya dhanadanodyatarnikayishayam | tatra lekhyantarakarane prayojanabbay&t | 
^kSilakaranam' anayanartham tasya patrasya 'nayanayogyakalakalpanam | ^drashtridarQanam' ala- 
bhyapatrartbajn&trijnapanam dhanapratidane k&ryam ity artbaA | etac ca patrapatan&sambbaye 
'pi saxinam saxityaniyrittaye kd.ryain | pratipadanapraka^anartbam ca pratidattapatram grabyam | 
kal&ntare tu dbane deye lekbyantaram k&ryam eya | ata eyo 'ktam tend, 'pi | 

Cbinnabbinnabritonmriabtadagdhadurlikbiteabn oa | 
kartayyam anyal lekbyam ayftd esba lekbyayidblA smritaA |) iti |1 

^)«.{. yaA. 
^)vd, matalekbyam. 
*) .r. I bA. 
• ^) «. 2. « lekbanfyatayA. 
<) V. I tatbA. 

This paesage is from the Tanjore M8S. Nos. 77, 9.263 and 9.264. The last was scarcely of any use. I have not giren 
tdl the vv, lif nor have I noticed the namerous errors of the M8S. 

S) The corresponding section in the YyaTah&r/imayiikha (16th cent.) is given in Stokes* ** Hindu Lawbooks** pp. 26-80. 

8) The only exception is a grant on thin plates of silyer, exeoated on the W. Coast (Cochin) in the last centary. In the 
Mah&Tanso a king who, being a fagitiYe, conld get nothing better, is said to have written a grant on a Pandanus leaf. ('Ma- 
haranso by Tumour, p. 204). The above-mentioned fact was early noticed by the Portuguese, de Barros (in 1668) says: "As 
escrituras que elles querem que dure pera muitos seoulos .... oomo letreiros de temples, doagoes de juro, que dam os 
Reys, estas sao abertas em pedra ou oobre.** (Dec: i., Lir: ix. Cap: iii.) 

4) See p. 4. 

^) See Plates xx., xxi. 

— 72 — 

Iti lekhyanirtlpanami>||| 

These two passages giye all the real information respecting royal grants and documents trans- 
ferring property, that I have been able to find in Sanskrit treatises belonging to the Dharma^stra. 
The Madhayiya treatise on yyayahara merely copies the Smriticandrika, and the Sarasyativilasa con- 
tains nothing worth quoting here^^. Of the numerous kinds of deed, described in the passage I hare 
giyen from the Smriticandrik^, we haye apparently only royal grants, priyate transfers of land, 
and inscriptions recording endowments which are of any considerable antiquity and, therefore, 
of interest. Of all these the royal grants are the most important, but though they are yery nu- 
merous I haye neyer met with any but grants of land, and (except one) all that I haye seen are on 
stone or on plates of copper'). The ^cloth' (pata) on which they were also written must haye been 
much the same as Nearchus describes^), and must haye been far from durable; after the introduc- 
tion of paper by the Muhammedans, so inconyenient a material would soon fall into disuse, and 
thus the absence of documents written on it is sufficiently explained. 

The changes in the form of the plates of copper deseryes notice. 

The earliest grants are those of the Vengi dynasty and are long narrow slips with only 
2-4 lines on a side, obriously cut in this shape to imitate the olais of a palm-leaf MS.^) From 
tlie 6th to the 14th century the usual shape is an oblong about twice as long as the width; and 
this shape is uniyersal, except in the grants of the Vijayanagara dynasty which are all upon muck 
larger plates with the end, where they are secured by the ring, ornamented or rounded. In these 
last the lines of writing are across the shortest part of the plate ; in the Vengi, Cera and ClQu- 
kya documents the lines are always lengthwise. 

Grants are always on three or more plates, the outer side of the first and last being always f 
left unused; the object of this practice is eyidently to preserve the writing from injury. The 
earliest grants are on 3 plates ; the later on many more, as was required by the gradually in- 
creasing prolixity of these documents. To assist in preserying the parts coyered with writing a 
practice of raising margins round the plate (by beating up and flattening the edges) was soon in- 
troduced. The earliest instances belong to the 9th or 10th century, but in the •11th century 
this was always done, and the practice continued till the 17th century when the preparation of 
such documents began to be yery careless. 

Grants on stone are, in the Telugu and Canarese country, nearly always on slabs of stone 


— 73 — 

which are planted in the ground in temple enclosures, near temple gates or under trees. The 
earlier ones are yerj plain steles devoid of ornament, the later ones (beginning with those of 
the tenth century) have ornamental and rounded tops, and in this space there is generally a rude 
J representation of the sun and moon, and sometimes of a cow t. e, the figure of the land which is 
given. In the later ones (after the great revival of the Qaiva sects in the 14th century) a 
figure of the ling a is generally the principal object. 

In the Tamil country grants are generally engraved on the basement walls of the temples, 
on the pavement, or on rocks. 

It is remarkable that the grants engraved on stone are far less prolix and diffuse than those 
on copper plates; both on copper and stone the letters are incised and not in relief. 

As regards the style of royal grants there is much worthy of notice as affording sure 
tests of the age and authenticity of these documents. The different clauses and requisites have 
been very well described by the writers on the Dharma^clstra ; they are : i. the king's genealogy ; 
ii. description of the grant, its date, conditions and the persons on whom conferred, or objects for 
which it is made ; iii. imprecations on violators of the grant ; iv. seal. 

J. The genealogical part. 

The earlier the date of the document, the more simple is the genealogical part. In the very 
early grant of Yijayanandivarm«a it nearly complies with the direction of the Sanskrit lawyers, 
in giving the names of three generations. The earliest Eastern Calukya grant is also compara- 
tively simple in this respect.^ > The earliest Western Calukya grants are much more prolix, and 
towards the end of the seventh century A. D. the Eastern Calukya grants assume in the genea- 
logies a style that is apparently peculiar to them — a simple enumeration of the succession of the 
kings with the years they reigned, and recite a few historical facts.^^ Those of the Western 
Calukyas are far more bombastic, and mention only the king's parentage.') The peculiarity of 
these E. Calukya grants is their historical character. The style of the genealogies remains almost 
the same for a long series of years. Thus from 700 A. D. down to the grants of the earlier 
Cola kings or about 1100 A. D. there is little change introduced. In the grants of the Western 
C&lukyas the same remark holds good of the old kingdom; under the revival a new style prevails. 

The grants of the Cera dynasty that are in existence agree in the style of the genealogical part 
very nearly with those of the Calukyas; there is an enumeration of the ancestors of the donor 
with comjiaratively little exaggeration.^) 

The Yijayanagara style is purely conventional bombast, and in bad verse for the most part. 
The succession of kings is carelessly given, and often sacrificed to the exigencies of metre. The 
genealogy is mythical; fictitious conquests are mentioned in detail, and the king's character and 

U PI. XXiT. 

S) For an example see pi. xxr. 

^) See pi. xxii. 

^) Bee the Mercara and N&gamangala g^rants in the Indian Antiquaxy, 





actions are made to correspond exactly with the ideal of a Hindu sovereign according to the 
Alankaragastra and Astrological imaginations. This style continues much the same from the 14th 
century down to the end of the Yijayanagara kingdom about 1600 A. D.; the latest grants are, 
however, far the worst. In all of them the king's panegyric is extravagant, and spun out with 
childish conceits' ^ 

The old South-Indian dynasties (Cola and Pandya) differ from these already mentioned in 
this part of the grants, though, as all the existing Tamil grants are on stone, and therefore very 
brief, the omission of a genealogy is of not much significance. In most of these grants the 
king's name only is mentioned, very rarely that of his father or other ancestors, and the usual 
eulogies are generally confined to questionable statements of conquests and victories. 

!!• Description of the grant, its Conditions, Date, etc* 

After the genealogical part, that of most importance is the description of the grant made and 
its conditions, as this part contains information as to tenures and local administration, and shows 
how persistently the tenures varied in the different portions of South-India^). This difference of 
tenures is often sufficient to show from what part of S. India a document of this kind comes, and 
also to detect forgeries; for, since the Muhammadan conquest of the South, many of the old terms 
have fallen into disuse, or even foreign words have taken their place. Thus the old Tamil tenure 
k3,niyatsi is now called mirasi (t. e. miras an Arabic word), and the real name is little known; but this 
is since about 1600 A. D. only; hence many grants in the Madras, Arcot, and Cuddapah provinces 
that I have examined, which purport to be of the 12th and 13th centuries, are forgeries; as indeed 
the style of writing shows. 

As these grants nearly always mention the Veda and Qakh& of the Brahmans in whose favour 
they were made, they will furnish much information as regards the brahmanical settlements io 

The different methods of marking dates have been already noticed. The day of the week on 
which the grant is made often occurs in grants of after the 5th century A. D., and this will as- 
sist in identifying the eclipses of the moon (which are generally the occasion of such grants) as 
otherwise there is some uncertainty. The names of the days of the week are, however, derived 
from the modern Greek astrology, and thus cannot well occur before the end of the 4th century 
A. D.3) The oldest grants have only the tUhi mentioned. 

The boundaries are generally ill-defined in the older grants, but are more exact in the later ones. 
Objects such as are described for this purpose in the Dharma^astra are usually mentioned*). 

1 ) See pi. zxTii. For a specimen of the latest Vijayanagara grants see the one published in the Indian Antiquary toL il* 
(p. 371). 

S) Mr. F. W. Ellis was the first to indicate this. 

3 J Burgess, "S&ryasiddh&nta" p. 84. This fact settles the date of the present redactions of many of the Dharmag&ttras 
or smritis. 

4)Cfr. H&naTa Dharma. (. yiii. 245-251. Mitaxar& p. 236 (Calcutta edition of II 


X. &aali^^ 7^ aent^Jt. 

J}o: 945 AJJ. 

— 75 — 

Where personal privileges or dignities of any kind are granted, it is always as attached 
to a grant of part of the royal rights over land ; the two are inseparable, 
y It is remarkable that the description of the grant, conditions, etc. are very often in the yerna- 

cular language in Cera grants, even though the rest is in Sanskrit. Cola and P&ndya grants 
appear to be always in Ta^nil; grants in Telugu do not occur before the llth century. 

III. Imprecations and conclvMon; attestationSm 

The last clause in grants consists of imprecations on those who resume or violate them, in 
the words already given above from the Vyasasmriti etc.*) As these words are nearly always the 
same in all grants, they furnish a ready means of deciphering unusual characters. 

Finally the names of the writer, and, in later times, of the engraver are sometimes added. As 
regards royal grants, there is little uniformity of practice in these respects; the names of wit- 
nesses are not required, but they are often to be found in early grants*). 

Very often grants are without any witnesses, and then they must be supposed to be holographs 
of the sovereign. In such cases 'svahasto mama' or ^svahastalikhitam' are occasionally added. The 
addition of vntnesses to prove a royal grant seems chiefly confined to those of the Cera dynasty. 
In every case the name of the writer comes last. 

Signatures (or rather marks) came into .use about 1400 A. D. and are intended to represent 
objects sacred to Hindus, e. g, a chank shell (much used by ascetics), a goad (anku(a), a sword, a 
peacock, etc. 

IV. The Seal. 

The seals on Royal grants are of great importance, but unfortunately few seem to be in 
existence. Types of the most important that occur in South-Indian grants are given in the 
opposite plate (A). 

a. Cdra. Two or three examples occur, and in all these is simply the figure of an elephant. 

h. CUukya. Of the Ealya^a branch I am not able to give an example. Of the Eastern (Ealinga) 
branch I have found four: two of the seventh, one of the 10th and one of the Cola successors of 
the Calukyas of the 12th century. These are remarkable in having a device like those of the 
Yalabht dynasty of Gujarat^). That of the earlier Ealinga Calukyas, Qrivishamasiddhi \K\ is 
very appropriate. Beginning with the 10th century, we find the characteristic mark of the Calukyas, 
the boar; this seems to have been used by both dynasties, and is clearly referred to by the author 
of the Smriticandrika.^) A branch of the Calukyas that reigned near Goa appears to have used a 
seal with the figure of a Jain (?) ascetic. 

l)pp. 65-6. 

<) Grant in possesiion of the Cochin Jews; N&gamangala grant. 
6) Indian Antiquary , i. plates opposite p. 16. 

4) See aboTe p. 64, line 16. What king or kings ased the Oarnda seal, I oannot say. The boar alludes to the Yar&h&- 
rat&ra and its object. 


— 76 — 

c. injayana^ara. The kings of tliis djnastj adopted the boar of the Calokyas, but their seals 
are without a motto. 

d. The Niyaks that raled the old Vengi coantry and the North of the Nellore district in the 
15th century, used a seal with the figure of a recumbent buU. 

Of the Tengi and other dynasties I have not been able to find seals. ' 

These seals are cast on the ring by which the plates are held together, and which thus has the 
form of a huge signet ring; but owing to the way in which this is done, the metal is always 
spongy, and thus is very liable to decay. 

As far as I have been able to observe, the seals of royal grants used in S. India have changed 
as follows: 

a. From the earliest times up to the tenth century they were small and consisted of little beyond 
a motto. 

b. From the tenth to the fourteenth century they were much larger, and in addition to a motto, 
have a number of emblems. 

c. From the fourteenth to the beginning of the seventeenth century they are again smaller, but 
have no motto and fewer emblems. 

d' From the middle of the seventeenth century down to the present, seals contain almost exclu- 
sively titles in writing, and very rarely, an emblem. 

A. 2. Grants written by the Minister (Sandhiyigrahidhikftra) for and by authority of the King. 

Examples of these grants are comparatively rare, and the only one I have as yet found in 
South-India is given in pi. xxiii. 

Royal grants are by far the most important documents for historical purposes that exist in 
South-India, such as they are; but they must be interpreted in the genealogical part with the 
greatest caution, especially those of the later dynasties, even if their authenticity be beyond 
suspicion. Unfortunately there is reason to believe that forgeries were common; for in the compara- 
tively brief lists of crimes preserved in the Dharma^astra, the penalty of death is assigned for 
forgeries of Royal grants' >. The Hindu Law has also a special chapter (Lekhyaparixa) on the 
scrutiny of documents, the rules given are strict^', but such as are rather used in Law Courts 
than by Palseographists; they are evidently the abstract standard of lawyers rather than rules 
always followed in such cases, for many unquestionably authentic inscriptions present instances 
of the fatal defects mentioned there. 

1) M&naTadharma^astra, ix.; 232. T&jnayalkya, ii. 240. 

S) e. g. (K&ty&yana) Yarnay&kprakriy&yaktam asandigdham Bphut&xaram | 

ahtnakramacihnam ca lekhyam tat siddhim llpnayat 1| 
and Sth&nabhraBhtfts tT apanktistha/i sandigdha laxanacyut&A | 
yad& ta samsthiti rarn&A kAtalekhyam tadft bhayet H 
H&rtta: Tao ca k&kapad&ktrnarA tal lekhyam kutat&m iy&t | bindamAtravilitnam ca, etc. 


B. Private transfers of property. 

Documents recording endowments by private persons are perhaps the most common among" 
South-Indian inscriptions. There is scarcely a temple in South-India on the walls of which 
numbers of such are not to be found; others are on steles or rocks. They convey all kinds of 
property, sometimes land, more often they record donations of gold, etc., and vary accordingly in 
form from elaborate deeds in the style already described^) down to brief notes of the gift*). The 
endowments to the Gonjeveram temples are mostly of saltpans; in the S. Arcot district (at Tirun§^ 
malai) flocks of goats etc. are mentioned, and these records of endowments show a very primitive 
condition of society down to comparatively recent times. Inscriptions of this nature to which 
there are not witnesses must be taken to be holographs. 

These documents have not the seal, but in other respects the form is much the same as that 
of the royal grants; it must be, however, clearly understood that their value for historical pur- 
poses is very small. Some king's name is mentioned in nearly all of them, and perhaps also, the 
year of his reign in which they are supposed to be written; but very often a purely mythological 
king is mentioned, and in some recent documents of this kind, after some purana mythology, 
Erishnaraya or some other well known king is eulogized, and then the Muhammadan Government 
or the '^Honorable Company'' is praised^). These details are, then, nearly always worthless, and 
of no value for history. The year of the king's reign, when a real sovereign is mentioned, 
is (as might be expected) several years wrong. In constructing genealogies of S. Indian royal 
families it will be most important to exclude all information derived from private documents, 
the value of which consists entirely in the details of tenures etc. which are very complete in them. 

Private documents of this description are generally in the vernaculars; the usual Sanskrit im- 
precations are sometimes added at the end. 

The earliest I have found are Tamil documents of about the tenth or eleventh centuries. 

Forgeries of private documents are excessively common, and are caused by the usual motives; 
the lawbooks (and especially Varadaraja's treatise) explicitly state the fact of their being common^). 
Detection of these forgeries is easy. In the first place if an attempt be made to imitate an older 
character (which is very seldom done) it is so bad as to betray the forger at once. Again as the 
dates of the rise of the chief religious sects in the South are well known, forms of names and 
usages which owe their origin to these sects infallibly point to the period in which a forgery has 
been committed. All documents of this kind which contain recitals of previous transactions are 
very doubtful. 

U See Madras J. ziii., part 2, pp. 86-47. do: part i., pp. 46-56. 

2) do: part L, p. 47. 

^) EUis C^On Mirftsi Right" pp. 67-82) gives four speoimenB of private deeds; two in Canarese, one in Telngn and one 
in Tamil. 

^) The early enquirers into Indian tenures do not appear to have been aware that this is the case. Some such documents 

seem to have been used to mislead Sir T. Munro. See his life by Gleig (1861) p. 168. (Letter from him to Col. Bead, d. 

16th June 1801). 

— 78 — 

A. Historicdl inscriptions. 

These come mostly under the following heads: — 

1. Memorials of satt. The practice of widows burning themselves with their deceased husband's 
corpse has never been common in S. India. Memorials of this description are to be found only in 
the Canarese-Telugu country. 

2. Memorials of religious suicide. This practice has been known to be common in India from the 
time of Alexander's expedition. It seems to have been practised in historical times chiefly by 
Buddhists and Jains^). 

Monuments to deceased Hindus are not uncommon in S. India, but the custom of erecting 
them is very modern, and I have never yet seen an inscription on one*^ 

3. Inscriptions recording the erection or repair of temples, etc. Contrary to what is the case in 
Northern India, these are all very modern. The earliest recording the restoration of a temple 
that I have seen, is of the end of the 14th century^). The only inscription of this kind that I know 
of on a fort, is of the 17th century. 

4. Inscriptions recording the dedication of sacred images, ponds, etc. 

Inscriptions recording the dedication of Jain images are to be met with in Mysore, S. Canara 
and in the S. Tamil country. Some are old, but dates are rare in them. The most common form 
is: '^So and so of such a country caused this sacred image to be made^^" Inscriptions recording 
the construction and dedication of tanks are rare except in the country ruled by the later Vijayar 
nagara kings; examples occur at Cumbum and Nellore. The great irrigation works of the 
Kaveri delta were chiefly constructed by Cola princes in the 11th and 12th centuries, but I have 
never been able to hear of any inscription referring to them, and Major Mead b. e. who has visited 
every part of them, tells me that he has never seen anything of the kind. 

5. Inscriptions recording erection of resting places. In Malabar charitable persons often erect two 
stones about five feet high, and place a flat slab on them; this is intended for the convenience of 
people who carry burdens, and who can thus rest on their way; as, if their loads were placed on 
the ground, they could not lift them again without help. The name of the persons who have had 
these erected is generally found inscribed. 

6. Inscriptions recording the dedication of temple utensils: vessels, bells, lamps, etc. 

These are to be found in all temples, but as there is hardly a single S. Indian temple that has 
not been pillaged more than once, very few of these inscriptions are of any remote period, and 
they are nearly always records of gifts by strangers, even from N. India^). 

1) For examples see the Indian Antiquary, toI. ii., pp. 266 and 828-4. 

') Cfr. Colebrooke*8 Life by his son, p. 152 n. 

9) For example see Indian Antiquary, toI. ii., p. 361. 

*) For another and longer inscription at K&rkal (in S. Canara) see the *^Indian Antiqtuiry" toI. ii., pp. 358-4. 

5) For an inscription on a bell see Indian Antiquary, toI. ii., p. 860. 

— 79 — 

B. Devotional and eocplanatory inscriptions. 

Deyotional inscriptions are exceedingly common on the floors and in all parts of S. Indian 
temples; they simply record the adoration of perhaps wealthy and distinguished pilgrims, and are 
yery short. The inscription at Seven Pagodas') is the most diffuse that I have observed of this 

Inscriptions explanatory of sculptures appear to occur only on the so-called rathas at the 
same place. 

Inscriptions in two characters occur very rarely; they are generally recent and intended for 
the benefit of pilgrims. The first character is that in use at the place, the second is nearly always 
some form of Nagari. 

The above list will show what epigraphic documents are to be found in S. India of a date 
previous to 1600 A. D.; this branch of Indian literature is of evident value, though the facts it is 
likely to furnish are not such as to be of immediate application in restoring history. 

It is not impossible that other kinds of documents may yet be found, as it is certain they once 
were in use. Of Hindu letters we have apparently no specimens of more than one hundred years 
old, except perhaps among the Mahrathas. Allusions to letters are frequent in the dramas and 
the earlier of the modern artificial poems, and some of such allusions go back at least 1200 years^). 

There is also a "Letter-writer" attributed to a Vararuci, one of a Vikramaditya's "nine jewels" 
of course^); it is a small treatise, but shows that some attention was paid to the subject, and that, 
therefore, letters were in common use: it, however, refers to letters on paper or the like, whereas 
in S. India (except among foreigners) palm-leaves have always been used for this purpose. For 
this purpose a strip of palm-leaf is cut in the usual form, and smeared with turmeric or some 
similar colour for ornament. The ends are split a little way to secure the whole which is folded 
in a ring, and then fastened by a thread. The earliest description of such a letter that I know 
of is of the beginning of the 16th century in De Barros' "Asia"; he says: "As outras cousas, que 
servem ao modo de nossas cartas mesmas, e escritura commum, basta ser a folha escrita, e enro- 
lada em si, e por chancella ata-se com qualquer linha, on nervo da mesma palma^)." The writing 
of letters is also often mentioned in the curious Tulu Sagas which refer to the BhtLta worship of 
Canara and the Concan. Thus in the Saga of Eoti and Cannayya after a clerk has been sent 

for on a certain occasion he is ordered to write a letter. "Another man was sent to to 

bring leaves of a young palm-tree. He had the leaves exposed to the morning sun, and taken up 

in the evening. By this time the clerk had come He asked the Baliai (chief) why 

he had been sent for? The Ballal said: I want you now to write a letter. The clerk sat down on 

1) See above p. 80, note, 

8) e. ^. YAsaTadatt& (ed. by Br. F. £. Hall) p. 168— S& oa kritapran&mft Makarand&jra patrik&m up&nayat. 
3) <* Notices" i., pp. 196-7. There is much in this tract that appears to be derived from Muhammadan custom, and not 
to be of Hindu origin. 

O '"Asia", Deoada i.; Liyro ix.; Gap. iii. (toI. i.; pt. ii.; p. 828 of the edition of Lisbon, 1777). 

— 80 — 

a three-legged stool. The Ballal had the bundle of palm-leaves placed before him; he (the clerk) 
took out a leaf from the bundle, cut off both ends and laid aside the middle. He had oil and 
turmeric rubbed on it, and asked the chief what he should write?')" 

Hiouen-Thsang mentions'^) the use of palm-leaves (tala) for writing documents in the Mysore 
territory, and says that these leaves were in use in all India; this«was undoubtedly the only writing 
material used for a long time in S. India. 

In what is now the Mysore territory, however, slips of cloth covered with a black paste and 
dried, and which can then be written on (like a slate) with a steatite or metal pencil, are mnch 
used up to the present time for accounts and even for writing copies of literary productions. The 
earliest reference to this material, which is called in Canarese Eadatam, is of about 1250 A.D.') 

Of the use of ink (masi or mas!) in S. India there are no traces till quite recent times. The 
earliest in use in India was made of powdered charcoal, mucilage and water, but of late years 
a superior kind, made of lac (I am told), has been introduced from the Mahratha country into 
some parts of S. India. This last is almost indelible, and is not injured by the action of water 
or damp; it is probably an invention of the Muhammadans^). 

The oldest paper documents in S. India are on either Portuguese (Goa) or English foolscap; 
Venetian and North-Indian paper seem not to have been used. 

I have already^) discussed the best ways of copying Indian inscriptions, and as my suggestions 
have been reprinted in the Indian Antiquary^)^ and partly circulated by the Madras Government, 
it would be useless to give details here. I can only recommend impressions made with moist 
paper (^'estampages") as the most certain and best method; this method never fails, but in many 
cases photography cannot be well applied. In some cases where inscriptions on stone are much 
worn, it is possible to read them with ease when the sun's light falls slantingly, so as to throw 
depressions into the shade, as was practised by Bafn who thus succeeded in reading the Runic 
sentences at the Piraeus. Accurate copies of Indian inscriptions are now the most pressing want 
of those occupied in researches respecting India, and it is impossible to take too great care in 
making them. 

1 ) From a MS. Collection in my possession. During a residenoe of two years and a half in Canara I was able to collect 
some 26 of these yery singular Sagas. The worship to which they refer exists at present in Canara, Malabar F, 
Tinnevelly and Ceylon. Some account of it as practised in Tinnerelly is to be found in Caldwell's pamphlet on the TinneTelly 
Shanars, and that of Ceylon is well described in Callaway's "Yakkun Nattanawa" (1829). 

2J "Pelerins Bouddhistes" iii., p. 148. 

3) I owe this fact to the Rot. F. Kittel. Cfr. also my Yam^abr&hmana, p. xxxTii.- 

4) In the MahaTanso (by Tumour; 4' p. 162) yermilion (hingula) is spoken of as being used for ink. This seems to be a 
Chinese usage. 

&) *A few Suggestions as to the best way of making and utilizing copies of Indian Inscriptions". 8* Madras, 1870. 
6) Vol. ii., pp. 183-7. 

APPENDIX A. (Sea p. 40. 

For the successfal interpretation of the S. Indian inscriptions, as well as for extended researches 
into Dravidian Comparative Philology, it is now indispensable that a history of Dravidian phonetics 
should be drawn up. The materials that exist for this purpose are more extensive than might be 
supposed, and go back to perhaps nearly two thousand years. The earliest traces are a few words 
recorded by the Greek Geographers of the early centuries A. D.; secondly, some Tamil words 
mentioned by Kumarilasvamin (700 A. D.), and others in the Mahavanso and in the travels of 
Chinese pilgrims; thirdly, the earlier inscriptions recording the campaigns of the Calukyas and 
Colas; fourthly, the native grammarians of about the tenth century A. D. for the most part. 
Much help will also be gained from the earlier metrical compositionsO. The Cera inscriptions 
show that the Canarese language had the peculiarities which now characterise it, already in the 
5th century A. D.; and Tamil inscriptions of a date a few centuries later prove the same of that 
I language. 

An investigation of this nature is important from a palseographical point of view, but, at 
present, I can do no more than show with reference to the propositions I have advanced above 
(on p. 40): 

i. That the Tamil alphabet has always been and is still a very imperfect system for expressing 
the Tamil sounds. 

ii. That the Canarese and Telugu alphabets are adaptations of the Sanskrit alphabet, and are 
tolerably perfect expressions of the sounds found in those languages. 

The Dravidian languages naturally separate into two classes — ^the Telugu which stands by itself, 
and the Tamilic dialects which comprehend all the other languages of S. India. As far however, 
as the history of the expression by alphabetic signs of the sounds used in these languages is 
concerned, the Tamil and old Malayalam stand apart; the Canarese and Telugu must be classed 

§1. Tamil phonetics. 

As the Tamil alphabet now stands it is a very imperfect representation of the sounds to be 
met with in Tamil. 

There are at present vowel-marks for a, &, i, t, u, &, e, e, ai, 5, o and au; but of these in 
addition to the usual pronunciation of u and ai, these two letters have very commonly the value 


1) DraTidian words adopted in Sanskrit, and they are many, are too much disfigured and of too uncertain source to 
deserve a place in this list of materials for the phonetio history of these languages. . 

— 82 — 

of u, and this is noticed by the earliest grammarians'). Again a, i, i, and ii have distinct secondary^) 
values in some cases, viz, they become ^mixed'. 

These values occur in certain definite circumstances, but they are so numerous as to render 
the Tamil alphabet very defective as far as the vowels are concerned. 

The expression of the consonants is also defective'). 

Thus the following letters have distinct values: — 

Letter 1. InitidL 2. Medial^ 3. Medial {\f doubled) 
k = k t k 

1 = 1 J t 

t = t 4 \ 

% = I h X 

p — p b p 

According to the pronunciation of some places k following a nasal =:g, and t following a 
nasal sd, but it is impossible to ascertain now if this was originally the case^). 

Now the earliest specimens of Tamil words that are to be found in foreign works show that 
the language then possessed these sounds for which there are no separate alphabetic characters, 
and which seem to have puzzled the Tamil grammarians who leave them unnoticed^). These 
words are as follows: 

In the second Girnar tablet of Anoka's edict ((. 250 B. C.) we find Pa(n)da as the name of a 
king; there can be no doubt that Pandiyan or the Madura king is here intended; and Pliny, 
Ptolemy and the Periplus also have Pandion. 

The next traces we find are in Ptolemy and the Periplus of the Red Sea which may be put 
as representing Tamil from the first to the third centuries A. D.; and Eumarila Bhatta who lived 
in the 7th century. As regards the various powers of some of the vowels there is not much 
satisfactory evidence to be found^), but the evidence regarding the consonants is conclusive. It 
is as follows: 

1) T61k&ppiyam i., 9i 24. NannM ii., 6, etc. 

2) The cause of this I have been able to disooYor by means of Mr. MelTiUe BelPs admirable book '^Visible Speech". These 
simple Yowels are effected by the foUowing consonant when it closes the syllable in certain cases. These consonants are t, 
\ and 1, bat at the end of a syllable they necessarily induce modification of the vowels. As Hr. Bell (p. 75) says: ^The 
Tarious positions of the tongue which produce ^centre-aperture' consonants, form yowels when the channel between the organs 
is sufficiently expanded and firm to allow the breath to pass without oral friction or sibilation. The Towel positions thns 
bear a definite relation to the consonant attitudes of the different parts of the tongue." 

3) It is quite certain that the Tamil alphabet was always limited in extent, for the Tdlk&ppiyam (L, 1, 1) and Nanndl 
(ii., 4) expressly put the number of letters at thirty. The NannM (ii., 8) says also: ''Beginning with a, twice six are Towels; 
beginning with k, (there) are thrice six consonants: thus say the learned." 

4) In Ganarese and Telugu as spoken in some places ri (d) has distinctly the Talue of 6; but not everywhere. 

5) Except they intended to include them under vague statements of irregularities of pronunciation. — Nannfil, IL, S8, etc, 
copying Tdlk. i., 8, 6. 

6) Except in the words which occur in Bhatta Kum&riU, and as these neglect the final u (as it is now written), it is safe 
to assume that it was then pronounced u as is the case at present, and was therefore neglected in the N&gari tranteriptions 
as being a sound unknown to the Sanskrit alphabet, and almost impereeptible. 



— 83 — 

k, y. ^^Sangara (=san'yadam) in Periplus Maris Eryth. §60 ^^Sangamarta^Tam. sanYa-maratta 
(t. e. the town or camp by the Monetia Barlerioides trees; a station of the Nomad Sorae. Ptolemy 
vii., 1, §68). »)Bettig6 (Ptolemy vii., 1, §68) which Dr. Caldwell has rightly identified with 
the Po&iYai mountain. 

t, 4. *^Pandion = Pandiyan. (Periplus Maris Eryth. §58. Ptolemy vii., 1, §§11 & 79. Pliny, 
vi., 105.) 2)Ttindis, i. «. the Tam. tundi (Periplus Maris Eryth. § 54. Ptolemy, vii., 1, § 8). 8)Cotto- 
nara (Pliny vi., 104); the last part is here evidently nadu (country) and the expression of d by r 
is also found in the 'sangara' of the Periplus. ^>Eum&rila has nader = nadai>>. 

t, 5. '>Kolandioph6nta (Periplus Maris Eryth. §60). The first part of this name for boats 
or ships (as compared with the sangara or raft) is most probably the Tam. kulin6a = hollowed; 
the last, odam=boat. *)Modoura=Ma6urai. (Ptolemy vii., 1, §89. Pliny vi., 105.) 

p, b. '^Keprobotros = Keraputra (Periplus M. Er. §54). The b here clearly shows the in- 
fluence of the Tamil pronunciation. Pliny (vi., 104) has Caelobothras. *) Eumd^rila has pamb or 
pamp = pslmbu. The best MSS. I now find have pamb. 

It would be easy to add other words from the Greek geographers which point to this fact, 
but as their identification presents more or less difficulty, I shall omit them here. 

The omission of the Tamil grammarians to notice this fact that the consonants have double 
values (viz., as surds and sonants) is unaccountable except that they had to deal with a language 
already reduced to writing. Tamil words, however, appear to have puzzled northern and Singalese 
authors, and they evidently were aware that the Tamil and Sanskrit or Pali t did not mark the 
same sounds. Thus the Pali has Damila; the Sanskrit Dramila, just as Ziegenbalg in his Tamil 
Grammar (1716) calls the language ^^Lingua Damulica," though Baldseus (1672) being a Dutchman 
has T^). To show how the Dravidian sounds differ from the Sanskrit sounds indicated by the 
same letters would take too much space to be admissible here, and would need the use of special 
type. Since Mr. Melville Bell's "Visible Speech" has been published, and the Pratigakhyas have been 
edited by Prof. Whitney and others, an enquiry of this kind need not present any special diflS- 
culties. At the present stage of philological research in S. India it is indispensable. 

The Tamil alphabet differs from the other Dravidian alphabets in using n which is simply a 
final n (t. e. of the syllable), and is therefore unnecessary according to the S. Indian system. 
It is here, however, a primitive letter from the Vatteluttu, in original form not unlike the Sassanian 
C\ generally read man. 

It follows, then, that the pronunciation of Tamil cannot have changed materially since the 
third century B. C; but, as it is impossible to put the introduction of writing into the Tamil 
country at so early a date, it is evident that the Tamil alphabet is an imperfect expression of 

the phonetic system of that language from its origin, and that it cannot have become so by 
progress of phonetic decay. As the alphabets used in the Agoka inscriptions prove, the Sanskrit 

1) I haye already disonssed the passage where these words ooour in the Indian Antiquary, toI. i., pp. 809-810. 

S) So the Peatingerian Hap and the Rarenna geographer (ed. Parthey, pp. 14, 40, etc.) have Dimirioe (t. e» Tamil + il^^) 
which is the proper reading for the name, and not Limnrikd as printed in the Periplus and Ptolemy. 


— 84 — 

grammarians had already extended the alphabet to suit their marvellously accurate discrimination 
between the different sounds of that language in the 3rd century B. C; it is impossible, therefore, 
to suppose that the Tamil alphabet is to be attributed to them. Besides their treatment of the 
Canarese and Telugu phonetics is totally different, as I shall now show, though the Canarese 
grammar was formed on the same model as the Tamil. 

§2. Canarese phonetics. 

The Hindu civilization of the Canarese country is quite as old as that of the Tamil people, 
but the earliest traces we find of writing are in a modified form of the Agoka character, and the 
orthography, with a few unimportant exceptions and allowing for the obsolete form of the letters, 
is just what we find now. About the tenth century A. D. Canarese grammar was treated on the 
principles of the Sanskrit grammarians of the Aindra school'), and with steady reference to 
Sanskrit phonetics; the author of the Canarese Grammar ^^Qabdamanidarpana" evidently consi- 
dered the alphabet he used as a mere adaptation from the Sanskrit, and he was perfectly right 
in doing so. His account is as foUows^^: 

There are fourteen Sanskrit-Canarese vowels (a, k, i, i, u, % ri, ri, Iri, Iri, e, ai, o and au) 
and in Canarese e and o have both long and short forms. There are 34 Sanskrit-Canarese 
consonants classed (vargaxara) and unclassed (avargaxara) that is to say the ordinary Sanskrit 
alphabet with xa, but of these aspirates are not used in Canarese except in some peculiar cases. 
To these are added the peculiarly Canarese letters r, 1 and 1. The author then states (p. 44) 
that there are only 47 letters in pure Canarese — a, a, i, i, u, H, e, e, ai, 6, 6, au, k, kh, g, gh, 
n, c, ch, j, jh, n, t, th, d, dh, n, t, th, d, dh, n, p, ph, b, bh, m, y, r, 1, v, s, h, x, r, 1, 1. The 
Sanskrit prepossessions of the author have induced him to include erroneously the aspirates and 
x; h is the modern representative of p. Rejecting these letters, therefore, the remainder represent 
very nearly the sounds we find really exist in Tamil. 

This Canarese Grammar is, like the Tamil Tolkappiyam and Nanntll, a very complete work, 
and is really what it professes to be. 

§3. Telugu phonetics. 
Here again the grammar has been formed on Sanskrit models, but the pattern is either 
Panini's or Hemacandra's treatise, and the terminology that of Panini*). 

1) What is to be understood by the Aindra grammar wiU be explained in a paper on it and its history which will shortly 
be pnblished by me. 

2) Kitters "Qabdamanidarpana" pp. 13-45. 

3) The dates of Nannaya Bhatta and AtharYan&c&rya can easily be fixed. Nannaya Bhatta translated the first part of 
the Mah&bh&rata into Teluga for Vishnuvardhana who was Rftm&nujd,c&rya*s chief convert, and therefore lived in the middle 
of the 11th century ["Cyclic Table" by C. P. Brown; Madras J. x., p. 52; Brown*s •Telugu Grammar" (2nd ed.), p. i.]. 
Atharvan&c&rya is generally supposed to have preceded Nannaya ; but this cannot be the case, as he twice cites Hemacandra 
by name (•Trilinga^abd&nug&sana" i., 5; iii., 13 of the Madras MS.). Hemacandra was probably born in 1088 A. D. and 
died in 1172 A. D. (Bombay J. x., p. 224); Atharvan&oArya must, therefore, have written about fifty years later than Nannaya, 
and was probably a Jain rival of the Brahman Kannaya. 


— 85 — 

The earliest of the two grammars is bj Nannaya; he begins by saying that Sanskrit has 
fifty letters, Prakrit ten less, but that Telugu has thirty-six as the other letters only occur in 
Sanskrit words which have been adopted in that language. These letters he says are: a, a, i. t, 
u, ti, e, e, ai, 6, 6, au, two anusvaras (o and c), k, g, two fi (6 and t), two j (j and d), t, d, n, t, d, 
n, p, b, m, y, r, 1, v, s, r, lu. 

Atharyanacarya is by no means so precise, but as he is later than Nannaya what he says is 
of little importance. He mentions seven or (excluding ai and au) five vowels (i. e, a, i, u, e, o) 
which might be short, long or pluta^K He does not specifically enumerate the consonants. 

Thus two Telugu grammarians not of the Aindra school have treated the Telugu alphabet far 
more completely than was done by Aindra grammarians in respect of the Tamil, though the Telugu 
grammarians hold the strange theory that the Telugu language is a "Vikriti" of Sanskrit^^ and 
treat the Grammar as a mere appendix to Sanskrit and Prakrit Grammar. 

This theory is an important one in considering references to foreign words in Sanskrit gram- 
matical works, and has been, as yet, quite misunderstood. The meaning of the term vikriti, as 
thus used, is as follows: The grammarians (as is required by the Hindu cosmogony^ J) considered 
all languages to be eventually derived from the Sanskrit, much as in Europe, in the Middle Ages, 
Hebrew was supposed to be the source of all the languages then known; they also considered 
merely the external forms of words and not the meaning^K It was thus easy to find a plausible 
explanation of any foreign word by means of Sanskrit. The Mimamsists contended against this 
doctrine, as they attached more importance to the meaning than to the form^'K In considering 
foreign words mentioned by Sanskrit grammarians it is necessary to keep the nature of this 
theory in view. 

Comparing the Telugu-Canarese alphabets with the Tamil it is impossible to suppose that the 
last is the work of Sanskrit grammarians; for had they been the authors of it, it would have 
been far more perfect^), and would have shown signs of adaptation which are wanting in it. Add 

1) 'IndhraQabdaoint&mani" L, 14-18 and 23. 

2) «Trilinga5abd&nu5&8an&" L, 8-11. '^Pr&n&A sapta gyarilpena" (8) ^'Taoam (read anoam) yinft syar&A panoa hrasya- 
dtrghaplutaiB tridh&" (0). 

8) "Andhra^abdaoint&mani" !., 12. iii., 8. 43. 59. 88. iy., 2. 11. 28. 28. 42. 46. The first of these siltrasis: '*Adyaprakriti^ 
prakritiQ c& 'dye, eshft tayorbhayed yikritiV\ Ahobala says on thus: '^ '&dyaprakriti/i* iti saryabh&sh&mdlakatyena Andhra- 
bh&shAhetutyena c& 'dye Sam8kritabh&sh&."— «<e8h&' Andhrabh&sh&." 

4) See Hnir's "Sanskrit Texts" i. pp. 480 flg. where seyeral passages are to be found in which it is asserted that peoples 
of quite different races, e.g. Odras, Brayidas. K&mbojas, Yayanas and Ctnas (Manu, z, 43-4); Yayanas, Ctnas, Pahlayas, 
Andfaras and Kftmbojas (Q&ntiparyan); 9*kas, Yayanas, Kftmbojas, Colas, and Keralas (Hariyam^a) were originally Xattriyas. 

5) Thus Durgftc&rya (on Y4ska, Kaig. ii., 2) says: Ekeshu de^eshu prakritaya eya dh&tuQabd&n&m bh&shyante yikritya 
ekeshu | dhfttor &khylLtapadabh&yena yaA prayoga^ s& prakritiA | n&mtbhi^tasya tasyai 'ya yaA prayogaA sk yikriti^ || There 
is no question of meaning here, but of form merely. 

6) See the article by me (on a passage in Kum&rllasy&min's *Tantray&rttika") in the Indian Antiquary ^ yol. i. 

7) The Banskrit-MalayMam alphabet as adapted to If alay&lam uses g, j, d, d, b to express y* J* d, A, and b. 

— 86 — 

to this that the Tamil letters 1, 1/) and y are totally distinct from the Telugu-<]!anarese corres- 
ponding letters and n superfluous, and the amount of proof that the Vatteluttu is of independent 
origin, and not derived from the S. Agoka character, appears to be conclusive'). 


As alphabets of the hands and styles of writing current at different periods give but a faint 
impression of the character of the documents from which they are derived, I shall now give 
specimens of the most important inscriptions from which I have derived the alphabets discussed 

Without inordinately extending the size of this work it would be impossible to give complete 
copies of all these inscriptions, as most of them are, at least, five or six times as long as the 
specimens given. Nor do I give a translation of the passages as it would be irrelevant to my 
purpose. I give however a transliteration of the specimens that are likely to prove not easy to 
read at first. Where I have found it necessary to add a syllable that has been omitted, I hare 
done so in ( ) . My object being purely palaeographical, I have been obliged to choose these 

specimens accordingly. 

Plates XX. and xxi.'^ 

lb. line 1. svasti. vijayaVengtpur^d bhagavacGitrarathasvamipadanuddhyd,no Bappabha- 
2. tt^raka^Jpadabhaktax paramabhagavata^ Qalankayano^) maharaja Ca- 

1 ) Id Telugu 1 is always expressed by d; e. g, Cdda=ddla. 

S) It may perhaps be as well to' remark that the Tamil people (as Mr. F. W. Ellis first noticed) have always put their 
language and literature on a level with the Sanskrit, calling their own tongue Tenmoli (Southern speech) and the Sanskrit 
Yadamoli or northern speech. The Tamil literature, as it now exists, shows nothing that is not of Sanskritic origin. (This 
was long ago remarked by Mr. Gurzon in J. R. As. Soo.) 

9) This document was first described by Sir W. EUiot (in Madras J. xiii., pp. 802-6) who then showed that it belongs to a 
dynasty that preceded the Eastern or Kalinga C&lukyas. According to that account the plates were ** found in the hcl or lake 
near Masulipatam, some years ago (t. e. prior to 1840) and had been laid aside as utterly unintelligible." A facsimile and 
transcript in N4^art are promised in this article, but I haye not been able to find them in any copy of the Madras J. accessible 
to me. I have used an impression made on china paper, which I got from a man formerly in Sir W. Elliot's employ; of the 
original plates I can learn nothing. 

4) ? Some local deity. 

&)Cfr. gana rftjanyAdi (P. iv., 2, 58); it is included among the Bhrign gotras of AQTal&yana, and was of course that of the 

— 87 — 

2. 1. ndavannmanas slinur jyeshtho mabarajaQriYijayauaiidiYarmma Euduharavishaye 
2. Yidenyarpallikd.^)grame Munyadasahitan grainy (a)]i samajnapayati: asti 

2b. — 1. asmabMrasmatkalagotradharmmayamkanti'^MrttipraYarddhanayaetesha(m)Earaya- 

2. ka^riyaragrahare yastayyan2,m iianagotracarana8yaddhyayan§,m 

3. — 1. 8aptapaucll9adattaraQat§.n£lm brahmananam esha gramax prattaA. tad ayetya 

2. deQadhipatyayuktakayallabharajapurushadibhis saryapariharaiA 

3b. — 1. pariharttayyo raxitayyag ca. prayarddhanianayijayarajyasaptamasa(m)yat8ara- 

2. sya Paushyamasakrishnapaxasyl. 'shtamysLm pattikH^) datta || tatr& 'jnaptiA 

4. — 1. mtllakarabhojakd.^) || '^bahubhir yyasudh§. datta bahubi; ca 'nupalitd. 

2. yasya yasya yadSi bhlim(i)^ tasya tasya tada phalam || 

3. shashtiyarshasahasrani syargge k(r)idati bhtimida axeptS. ca 'bhimanta ca tany eya 

iia(ra)ke yase(t). 

Plate xxii 

West (Ealy&^a) Calnkya 608 A. D.5) 

jayaty 3,yi8hkritam yi8hnor yyar§,haxobitarnnayan daxinonnatadramshtragram yiQr§,ntam bhuya- 
nam yapuA^> ^nmatam sa(2)ka(labhu)yaiia8ttLyamd,naM&nayya8agotrana}n H&ritiputrd^am saptalo- 
(ka)matribhis saptamatribhir abhiyam(3)-di(ta2i§.m Ear)ttikeyapariraxanapraptakalyanaparam- 
par^Lnan Narayanapra8adasam§.8aditanam yaralial§.mca(4)nexanaxanayaQayaQikrita(e8bamah!bbri- 
tam Cadukbyanam^^ kulam alamkari8bnor afyamedhayanapade pade Gamgaja(5)lasnltnapayitri- 
kritaga(?)trasya griP61uke(iyallabhamaharaj§,dirajaparamegyaraparamabhattarakapar(a)(6)kram§r 
raja(7)rd.japaramegyaraparamabbattarakaputraA 8ainarasamgakta8akalottarapatheQyara(riHari8ba- 
yarddhanaparaja(8)-yopalabdhaparameQyaraparamanamadbeyasya SatyafrayaQnprithuyiyallabba- 
inabarajadirajaparame-(9)Qya(ra)sya priyatanayaA Citrakanthaprayaraturamgamenai 'kenai 'ya 
pratitanekasamaramukhe ripunripatiru-(10)dhi(ra)jalasyadanarasanayamanajyalananiQitani8trimQa- 
dhara yadayabbritadbaranidbarabbu-[pl. ii.]jaDga — etc. 

1) In modem Teluga pallik& is palUya. 

2) f samkr&nti. 

8) patfcik& for patrikft, and the oonstruotion asti .... prattaA point to prakrit inflnenoes. 

*) The grant is therefore of the royal dnes from the Tillage. The Tillage itself (or the proprietary right to the ground) 
oonld not be giTen by Uindu Law as it belongs to the ooonpants; all the king could giTO is his right to certain shares of the 
produce etc. (See the discussion which settles this point in Mtmllms&siitra, Ti. 7, 2.). 

B) For putraA (7) read putrasya. The only explanation of the errors in this and similar documents is, that they were 
dictated to the engraTor {Upikara). The irregular lengthening of accented Towels points to this fact. 

6) This is a floka. 

7) Calukya, Callukya, Calkya and C&lukya also occur. 


• • • 


This document is in Old Ganarese, and presents many difficulties in parts of the second leaf. 
I give the transliteration, therefore, of the first leaf only, about which there cannot be any doubt, 
and leave the rest to Mr. Eittel who alone can deal with documents like this. 

1. svasti. QakanripakalatitasamvatsaraiTigal elntlrippattarane- 

2. ya Subhanu embha va(r)6hada Yaisakhamasakrishnapa- 

3. xapancame brihaspativaramagi svastiprabhtl- 

4 . tavarshagrtprithuvt vallabhamahar ajadhir ajapa(ra) me- 

5. {varaGoyindarabhatararaga Mundajjamahade- 

6. viykagi rajyapra(va)rdhamanak^laddl etc. 
The third leaf contains the usual Sanskrit imprecations. 

Plate xxiv. 

This document was found near Vizagapatam in 1867, and is now (?) in the Government Office 
at Madras.'^ 

PL 1. line 1. svasti: QrimatCalukyakulajalanidhisamudito nripatinigakaraA sva- 

2. bhrMatavajnanamitaripunripatimakutamaniprabhavicchuritacaranaravinda- 

3. dvayaA SatyaQrayagrivallabhamaharajaA; tasya priyanujaA sthalajala- 

4. vanagirivishamadurggeshu labdhasiddhitvad vishamasiddhiA dinanathadvijavasuvrishti- 

5 . pravarshanatay a EamadhenuA y uvatishu madanay amanacaruQariratvan Makaradhvaja(A) 

2. 1. svadanarnnaveshu parimagnakaliprabhavaA anekasamaravijayasamudita(A) 

2. vimalayaQOviQeshavibhfksbitasakaladinmandalaA Manur iva vinayajnaA Prithu- 

3. riva prithukirttiA Gurur iva matiman ParamabrahmanyaA ^riVishnuvarddhanamaharajaA 

4. Dimilavishaye Ealvakonda(?)gramadhivasinaA kutumbinas samavetan imam arttham a- 

5. jiiapayati yatha: adhitavagatavedavedaiigasya Brahma^armmanaA pautrabhyam adhi- 

23. 1 . gatasvaQakhacoditasvakarmmanushthanatatp9,rasyaDu(r)gaf armmanaA putrabhya(m)ve- 

2 . dangetihasapuranadharmmagastrady anekagamatatvavidbhyam Gautam(a)gotrabhyam 

3 . Taittirikacaranabhy am*^ Vishnugar mmaMadhava5armmabhy8,m Piiki(?) vishaye Cerupura- 

4. gr^mam adhivasataA Qr&vanam§,se candragrahananimitte sarvvakaraparihar^- 

5. n§. 'graharikritya^^ svapunyayurarogyaya^obhivriddhaye, gramo 'yam dattaA; asya 

1) For the lunar eclipse mentioned in pi, 2h., only that which occurred in 622 A. D. appears to satisfy all the neoessary 

2) Should be Taittirtya; it is here correctly called a Carana. Max M&Uer's A. Sanskrit Literature, p. 871. 

3) t. e. the inhabitants were constituted into an agrah&ra and the village was then giyen to the 2 persons named, who had 
then a right to the dues formerly paid to the king. 


— 89 — 

1. kaiQcid api na b&dha karantya | atra Vyasagttau: bahubhir vvasadbd. datta bahu- 

2. bhiQ (A 'nupalita; yasya yasya yada bhiimiA tasya tasya tada phalam shasbtiyarsha- 

3. sahasr&ni svargge modati bh&midaA &xeptd> ca 'numantA. ca tany eva narake 

4. yaset. QriMatimatsya ? liprasutaA syabbujabalapratapRyanataripu- 

5. r ajnaptiradayidurjjayaA sa?a??d.?ka? igaru:^^ 


This plate giyes tbe first eigbteen lines of an Inscription d. 945 A. D. and tbns of tbe most 
flonrishing period of the eastern or Ealinga C&lukyas. This text runs: 

I. (1) syasti. grimatam sakalabhuyanasamsttLyam&naManayyasagotranam Hari-(2)tipatranam 
EauQildyaraprasadalabdharajyanam mMriganaparipalitanam (3) syamiMahasenapadanudhyatanam 

yamedha-(5)yabhritasnanapayitrikritayapusha Calukyanam kulam alamkarishnoA Sa-( 6)tya^raya 


yallabhendrasya bhrata Eubjayishnuyarddhano 'shUdaga yarshani Yeng!-(7 de)Qam apalayat | tadat- 
majo Jayasimhas trii7i(atam | tadanujendrarajana-(8)ndano Vishi^uyarddhano naya | tatstLnur mMa- 
ngiyuyarajaA pancayim^atim | tatputro (9) Jayasimhas trayoda^a | tadayarajaA Eaukikilish shan 
masan | tasya jyeshto bhra — 

II. (1) ta Vishnuyarddha(nam) uccatya saptatrim^atam | tatputro Yijay&dityabhattarako (2) 
'shtsLdaga | tatsuto Yishnuyarddhanash shattrimQatam | tatsuto yijayadityanarendra-(3)mrigar§.jaQ 
c§. 'shtacatyarimfatam | tatsutaA Ealiyishnuyarddhano dyyarddhaya(r)shani || (4) tatsuto Gunag§,mka- 
yijayaditya^ catu(Qc)atyarimQatam | ta-(5)danujayuyarajaA YikramadityabhtipateA stLnug Galukya-(6) 
bhtmabhtLpalas trimsatam || tatputraA Kollabhigandayijaya-(7)dityaA shan masa(n) | tatsti(nu)r 
Ammar^^jaA sapta yarshani || tatsutam Yijay§.(8)-dityam balam uccatya Talapo masam ekam | ta(m) 
jitya yndhi Gdilukya(9)-bhimabhtimipates sutaA Yikramaditya bhtLpo 'pan masan ekadaga xitim. | 

JPlate xxvi. 

It is unnecessary to giye a transcript of this, as, coming after the earlier grants, the character 
presents no difficulty. 

JPlate xxvii. 


1. (gri) yam Bhukkabhiipatim yatkirtilaxmaA kndanty a(ya)- 
hamandam ratnamanthapam muktacchatram $aQa(Tn)- 

1 ) Is this intended for a signature? 


— 90 — 

kasadipaA ^akradiyakarau | dharm(e)na raxati 

x(0;n(i)fii TiraQriBhukkabhiipataa | niratamkabha- 
5. yat tasmin nityabhogotsavaA praj&A Gaurtsaha- 

carat tasmat pradorasin MaheQYarat | ^aktya 

pratitaskaingam^ (sicf, raja HaiiharefyaraA | sarra- 

yarnasamricarapratipalanatatpare { tasmin 

catuAsamadramta bhtLmiA kamadagha 'bhavat sifii- 
10. hasanajusbas tasya ki(r)tya bbimti diQO da^ | n- 

dayadrigatasye 'ndo(r) jyotsna yevaO kalanidheA | 

talapurushadanadimahadanani shoda^ | kri- 

tayan pratirajanyayajrapatatmavaibbayaA || 

(nmadrajadhirajarajaparamegyaraA | pii(r)yada- 
15. sdnapaQcimottarasamudradbi^varaA | sa nisbka- 

ritadusbtarajarajaDyabbajamgayainateya// | 

daranagatayajrapamjaraA | kalikaladharmaA | 

EarnatakalaxmikarnayatamsaA | catn(r)yarnadara- 

(na) palakaA | kalagiritatalikhitaghoshanaA 
20. ranaramgabbisbanaA | pararajaraji 'ya sudbaka- 

raA I paranarisabodaraA | pnnyaQl(o)kapraba(r)sbaA | 

(ardtdamadabbamjana^ | CeraCoIaPandyastb(a)- 

pan^aryaA | YedabbasbyaprakagakaA | yaidikamarga- 
24. stbapanacaryaA | karinopetadbyary(a)^ ) rajakalyana^ekbara- 
[sidbasarasyatetyadiyirudayalibb&sbitaA sa kbala DrayirapratapaHaribaramabarayaA etc.l 

Plate xxviu. ft. 

Tbe MS. from wbicb ibis is taken is a Yratayalli wbicb was written for tbe last of tbe Telngu 
Nayaks of Tanjore — ^Yijayacokka. He was conquered by tbe Mabratbas soon after 1670. There 
is no distinction made between long and sbort i, otberwise eyery letter is perfectly distinct 
and legible. 

Plate xxix. a. 

In tbe want of Tamil types, I cannot giye a transcript of tbis, for wbicb tee Madras Jonmal, 
xiii., pt. i, p. 126. 

OToTa, the oommon Telugu way of writing eva. of. pU Tlii. There are seTeral errors in orthography in this docttment. 
Mnch is in $ 1 o k a s 



Plate zziz. h. 

I give this document in fall as transcribed by a N&yar accustomed to read the character. 

onj(DOGOO a>06no<d>Qq;o 6>.aJ0||« (06)6ingS(oi^o goccBomczngl cd>6ine@o @^o ^o@) era- qq^o^ ^6fn(af{£)i2j, oj 
o6>aj§<a>QQilg^, (SYdcro cjroo^jo) a^nDcaTwlte^GoQJoa 2)(o)qq;oq (3T^<eio ojGJ^iZi (0>6)cm aojemexzcm gLwrxorroliy 
(oJle^cAo ac/doMo, (SYacm qjgjI^ (cn6)cm o^cm (SYd(05al©iyc». ooonycrSlco^ (ry)l.mi5(Z^aio§lcm coJltoiqai 

QJ§<0>Qq!|^ 6)<d>0^(a!1X) — 

t£i(S^aek OA0§(BI0| QjlAQJOfiO ^^ 

am QjVoQjoft) ^«n| 

— «o 

0>0-aiog-)o crxr^fon(Di<0A QjlaxnosD ^^ — ^ 

o0-cnxwcBO(o«aj^ 2joo*-af) 6>d)09(mo» ^owm^ 

S>0-QJOejlQB;(d9 OrD9aJtD CJCQ-'OT) 8)^) 9^(019) Q0aai CTJUdi) 

Q^yexmooi OLjocoYocro moa orfc a^aiorv^ago gcoicm <e>yl<0>Qq{o 6).ajQg, 



— 92 — 
einjcii^ ekaboaunoocn <&)s3aLi)6>cn 6)<0>3^a»cs^j6 culejSKiii^ \Q)@m-^ — iQ) q-c»-q@W)U3)-(to 6>«a»3 
6>z-aioajGLj^a-i6mo Rr^oajJca, OOdoiio Q_i€mo^o:3Y:»km s.Q<^^^ 6)<fi>o^«9>^ ai)§«a>ato 

This is taken from a Granthayari (or book of coanterparts of leases, etc.) belonging to the 


Plate xxz. a. 

This is a page of a Yritti on the Ptdrramimainsa siitras of Jaimini, which is called 


V. ->^ = g > 






4 note 2. Profr. Hang ("XTeber das Wesen and den Werth dee wedisohen Aocente**, p. 18) says: *'Den ersten Anstou 

var Bohriftliohen Aufzeiohnting wedischer Texte gab ohne Zweifel der Buddhismus, darch den die Sohreibe- 
knnst eigentlich erst reoht In Indien rerbreitet wnrde*'. 

5 line 8. ofr. Ghabas, "Andes snr Tantiqnit^ historique", 2nd ed. p. 94. 

— 16. This identification is due to Mr. £. Thomas. 

— notes f line 1. For to^Bi read to^ai (Can: sftge). The long 6 is a oonolasiTe proof that this word is not an adapta- 

tion of the Sanskrit ^ikhin. 

— — — 11. For oapi read cepi. 

6 note 8. For App. B. read App. A. 

— 4. Lassen (in the second edition of his I. A.— K. ii. p. 477) pnts P&nini at 880 B. C. 

7 note 1. Prof^. Max Mflller (JSigveda It. p. IxxIy. n.) points out that lipikar a means a man who makes publio 

inscriptions. He considers that YaTan&nt lipi is most likely that yariety of the Semitic alphabet which pre- 
Tious to Alexander and preyious to P&nini became the typo of the Indian alphabet. Hay it not mean the 
Bactrian or N. A^oka character as used by the Greeks in Bactria or eyen their Greek character, and be an 
Interpolation in the text of P&nini perhaps by a pupil? If P&nini be put in the 8rd century B. C. or half 
a century later than is usually done, there could be no difficulty about the word. 
9 Kne 28. Profr. J. Oppert ("Journal Asiatique** yii. hne s^rie, ill. pp. 238 fig.) has shown that the cuneiform cha- 

racters of the Achnmenidan inscriptions are probably the inyention of Cyrus, and has giyen the principle of 
deriyation from the Babylonian cuneiform. 
last Hne, On the clay eontraot-tablets see also Sayoe*8 "Priaeiplea of Comparatiye Philology" p. 196; according 

to which Aramaic was the commercial language of the Assyrian world Arom the time of Tiglath Pileser or 
B. C. 745. 
10 — On Indian materials for writing cfr. Sohlegers "B&m&yana" i., pp. xy., xyi. The oldest Sanskrit MS. 

yet discoyered (of the 18th cent.) is written with ink upon Talipat leayes; it was found by Dr. Bfihler. 
Co]a is the Sanskrit form of the name; Cdda, the Telugu and idla the original Tami][ form. 
Mr. Kittel informs me that the LingMt Canarese books haye Kanoi and not K&nci. 
For (B) read (A). 

For Ha^akannada read Ha/a-Kanna<2a. 

Yehgt or Yeiigi. The last is probably the correct form as shown (Mr. Kittel tells me) by Canarese 
books in which the metre requires a short i; it is also proy.ed by the form Yen'yai of the Tanjore inscription, 
which represents Yengt. Yengt must be taken to be the Sanskritized form. 
16 I haye had this page reprinted, to include Profr. £ggeling*s important disooyery of the date of Manga- 

It^a^s accession; the other dates are not confirmed as yet. 
19 Oenealogical table. Kubja-Yishnuyardhana I. appears to haye been reigning in 622. (See remarks on 

transcript of pi. xxiy.) 

21 note. In respect of the deriyation of Telugu from Vtel or Vte| I should haye added that the Telugu I = Tamijl 

|. (Caldweirs Comp. Gr. p. 194.) 

22 Hne 8. Ygayanagara. Both this form and Yidy&nagara seem to haye been in common use. Mr. Kittel tells me 

that the Canna-Basayapur&na (Ixiii., 2-S) has Yidy&nagaro. This is a good authority, but a grant of 1899 
A. D. has "Ygayllhyaye nagare"; so I giye this form of the name. Cb*. Oolebrooke's "Essays" ii., p. 263. 
28 note If line 6. Read — was not used in S. India so early as the third century. 
















— 94 — 


80 last line of note 2. For "tamed" read "famed". The charaetere used in the Seren-Pagodas insoriptioa are 

nearly identioal with those of thaPagger Roeyong insoription in Bamatra. See Friederioh'g "Orer 
Snscriptien Tan Java en Sumatra" (Batavia 4°. s. a) pi. ill. 

81 /mm 19. I should have remarked that Raffles (" Jara" i , p. 870) had already noticed the almost complete identity 

of the Kawi and Square Pali characters. 
— 24. The Chinese account of Cambodia translated by Remusat only goes back to the 7th century A« D. and 

modem French research in the country has not led to the dlscoTory of any thing which contradicts these 

The only specimens of the old Cambodian inscriptions that are accessible to me are in Dr. Bastian*! 
article *0n some Siamese Inscriptions" in yoI. xxzit. of the Bengal As. Soc. Journal (pp. 27 flg.). what the 
short words there giTon are, I cannot say, as they are in some Indo-Chinese language, probably old Khmer; 
but the identity of the letters with the EL Cdra and E. C&lukya characters of about the 10th century ii 
erident. In most respects they are nearest to the E. CMukya forms. This resemblance was pointed out to 
me by Dr. Rest on seeing plates iy-Ti. 

The only possible objection that I can see to the eridenoe I have given to show that the Indo-Chinese 
Eaniboja is intended and has therefore been interpolated in the ganas and Patanjalii), is the fact that 
Wilson found this word in the A^ka inscriptions of the third century B. C; but on examining again the texti 
of these inscriptions, I And it is erident that he was hasty in doing so. The Kapur-di<giri text has clearly 
Kambayi; that of Girnar has Kamb. . . (there is a ftraoture of the stone here) and that of Dhauli, Kambocha (?). 
The Gaigam copy being much broken, can give no help here. Except, therefore, the doubtAil reading of the 
Dhauli text (which has never been properly copied) there is no reason to assume that the word was Eamboja, 
and against this supposition the Kapnrdiglri text is deeisive for the present. 

The Sanskrit texts give most contradictory accounts of Kamboja., Yar4ha Hihlra (Brihat-aamhitl e. 
xiv.) puts it in the S. West of India. A breed of horses is called K&mboja according to 9^Uhotra*8 treatiw 
on Yeterinary Medicine, oompiled by GanaS); the Bhela-Samhit& has (e. 81, ^4): 

HasiirayavagodhdmatilakoddMasevinaA | 

bhAyishtham ar^sas tena KAmbojA dantaj&h (tie) smritiA || 

Other texts place them in different geographical situations and give different descriptions of them, but the 
epithet mundaS) clearly points to Buddhists. The name occurs in a J&taka (xxi., 1, 6)*) which gives the 
following account of the people: 

Ktt& patang& urag& ca bhek& hatv& kimlm sujjhati makkhik& ca | etc hi dhamm& anriyardp& kambojs- 
k&n&m vitathft bahunnan *ti 1| 

C. ete ktt&dayo p&ne hantv& macco sojjhattti etesam *pi kambojanatthav&stnam bahunnam anariy&naai 
dhammft te pana vitath& adhammA *va dhamma 'ti vutt&. 

There is nothing here to suggest a people of "S. India or Afghanistan. If the Kambojab were a people 
of N. W. India or the Persian frontier, how is it that Ptolemy and the Chinese pilgrims do not mentioa 
them? It is certain that they Were well known in India and probably Buddhists, the absence of all mention of 
them by these writers is, therefore, inexplicable if they belonged to the part of Asia which is usually sop- 
posed to have been their home. The Pali texts appear to identify Kamboj& with Cambodia in Indo-China^). 

In some Yijayanagara grants the kings of that dynasty are represented as conquering the K&mbojss. 
The notion that the kingdom of Kamboja was in the north appears to be of Indian origin, but I have 
only found this indicated in one recent work, viz., Durg&c&rya*s ''Niruktavritti". In commenting on the 

U The allusions in the Mah&bh&shya are very meagre, see Profr. Weber*s notice in I. S. xiii., p. 271. 
') f The Pegu ponies, which are now imported into India in great numbers. 
21) In gana to P. ii 1, 72. See Profr. Weber in I. 8. xiii. p. 871. 

4) I take this from Minayeffs Pali Grammar (translated into French by Guyard) p. xvii. 

5) o. Childer's Dictionary of Pali, pt. i. § 77. s. r. Kamboja. 



82 line 27. 

— noU 4. 

88 — 2. 

87 line 24. 

88 — 19. 
48 note 4. 

50 line 6. 


— Une 18. 

55 — 12. 

— 17. 

68 note 2. 
59 Une 18. 

words "KambojAA ksmbalabhoJAA ksmantyabhoji t4 kambaU^ kamantyo bhayati^M he says: *KamboJ&A 
kambalabhojAA." te hi prAye^a kambaUn upabhufijate himaprftyatrUt tasya de^sya | "KamantyabhojA 
T&** I <*kamaniy&ni** *pr4rthaiityAni oa te hi drayy&ny mbhabhanjate; praovraratno hi sa de^a Itl | *'kam- 
balaA kamantyo bhayatl | "pr&rthantyo hi ^tULrtalr bharatL" The author, being a natiye of 8. India in all 
probability, deserret little credit for the etatements he makes here. 

By the Hindu Cosmogony?) the Kambojas (like all other people known to the Hindus) were considered to 
be degraded Xattriyas, and therefore their language (it neoessarily follows) was supposed to be eonneoted with 
Sanskrit. The single word which is quoted (Naig. ii., 2) tIi. qu or ^t (ss to go) proTos no connection 
between the Kambojans and the A.ryan races, for the meanings in Sanskrit differ radically. The Sanskrit 
grammarians in treating of foreign languages were oontent to find an external resemblance between Sanskrit 
and foreign words, And troubled themseWes (like those of the middle ages) but little wi^ the meaning; an 
error which KumArilasv&min^) exposed. Does qn or ^t exist in the Khmer language with the meaning *to go* P 

This interesting passage has been correctly published by Dr. F. Kielhom in the Indian Antiquary yoI. ill., 
p. 286. For nildviia it appears that vipldvita must be read. 

Friederich C^Orer Inscription ^an Java en Sumatra" p. 78) says: ''man Torgeli^ke bg voorbeeld het oude 
Hala Canara alphabet in de inscriptie ran Mr. Wathen . . . Tan het jaar van fftka 411." 

For "Pagger Roejong (in Jara)*' read "Pagger Roejong (in Sumatra)*'. Friederich u. «. p. 18. 

The Jayanese appear to haye invented a character for (i yery early, yis., about the 1 1th century. (Friederich, 
u. «. pp. 4 and 64.) A» now used, this sign in the Jayanese alphabet is eyidently of independent, and not of 
Indian origin 

The Tdlk&ppiyam (1,1, 14) distinguishes the forms of p and m in'a manner that clearly points to the 
Yatte][nttu and not to the Grantha-Tamil alphabet 

Mr. Elittel informs me that the Basaya Pur&fia and the Ganarese texts proye Ealabhurya (in Can. 
KalaburigS) to be the correct form. 

There Is yet another kind of 17&gart used in 8 inscriptions found in the Oanjam and Yizagapatam Districts 
and which appears to be the original type from which the TJriya character is deriyed. The grants in question 
are of about the 10th or 11th century and appear to belong to Jayapura in the former District. 

Ycte. E. de Rough's admirable Essay on this point has fortunately been quite recently discoyered and 


printed by his son (''M^moire snr V origine Egyptlenne de 1* alphabet Ph^nicien'* 8° Paris, 1874). The author 
has preyed the Egyptian origin of the Phesnioian alphabet by being able to use the Egyptian transcription 
of Semitic words, and has thus been able to detect the original hieratic letters from which the Phsonician 
letters were adapted. This is unfortunately the yery clue which is wanting in India to enable one to trace back 
the A^oka character to a Semitic (Aramaic) prototype. 

Friederich ("Oyer Inscription** p. 78) says that the ^Aks era only is used in the Archipelago Inscriptions. 

I print the last part of this Prakrit g&th& as it occurs in 2 MSS., but I do not understand the last phrase 
which seems wrong. 

For this list see also Burgess's ''SAryasiddh&nta'* p. 36 and As. Researches (Bengal) yoI. ill. 

Subh&nu also occurs as a name of the 17th year. For the tenth one jSnds also dh&tri; for the 18th 
pram&thin; for the 15th Bhri^ya; for the 81st and S2nd hemalamba and yilamba; for the 47th pram&di. 

It is scarcely necessary to remark that these are all neuter adjectiyes agreeing with samyatsara. 

See Crawford "On the Hindu Religion in Bali** (As. Res. of Bengal, xiil. pp. 150-1) and Burgess's "Siirya- 
siddh&nta** p. iii. 

It should be noticed that there is yet another system of marking numbers by letters, and which (as pointed 
out by Ooldstiicker in his "Pftnini*s Place*' p. 58) is attributed by ^atanjali and Kaiyata to P&nlni. This 
was used to indicate the extent of the adhik&ra of a sdtra, where this did not exceed the number of the 

1) "Kirukta** ed. Roth, p. 40. 

2) See aboye p. 85. 

8) See my article on this passage in the Indian Antiquary ^ 1. pp. S09-811. 

— 96 — 



62 line 13. 

letters of the alphabet; and as the example given — 1=2, the letters must have had their namerieal tsIu 
determined by their position in the alphabet. (Cfr. Hah&bh^hya on P. 1, 8, 11. pp. 242 and flg. of the 
Benares edition.) There is no trace of this system in inscriptions, and it will be seen that it is precisely 
similar to the Greek and Semitic notation of numerals by letters of the alphabet. There is no trace of it 
also in our MS. of Pftnini, a fact that should be considered by those who assert that we possess the text as 
P&nini composed it. 

line* 18-15. dele *This is probably the use twelfth century". Mr. Kittel has kindly informed me 

that the Ganareee will not bear thia interpretation, and that the passage refers to the orthography of certain 

This small cross is termed kikap&da or hamsapAda. Where words or letters have been written in vrong 
order this is corrected by writing numerals aboTC corresponding to the required order. 
For datT& rettd dattri. 

do. do. 

bftnijy&(* — b&nigy&o. 
Bead durlekhye. 

I have not noticed ordinary mis-prints, and occasional irregularity of transcription in which I follow the system of Lepsiiis 
as near as possible. As an excuse I must plead that this book has taken a long time to print (owing to my official work)} 
and that for the most part I haye been at a great distance from the Press. As far as my experience goes, it is useless to 
ask readers in India to look at a list of Errata! 
















• • ■ 





Con'ections to be mcide in the Blates. 

Compounds, For ggt read rgge. Correct ijye (which is defectiye in some impressions) by the original | 

pl. XX., 2. line 1. 

pau (11 X 21) is doubtful. 

Compounds, for t^ read cch. 

dele tt (4 X 1 1). 

This is the complete alphabet as taught in schools; many of the letters do^ howeyer, not occur in reality. 

97 — 


CH. I. The Date of the Introduotion of Writing into India 3 

Part X. Bala^eographical Elements* 

CH. II. The South-Indian Alphabets and their Deyelopment 11 

§ 1. Telugu-Canarese Alphabets 14 

A. Yengi Alphabet 14 

B. Western C&lukya 15 . 

C. Eastern (Ealinga) C&lukya 18 

D. Transitional 21 

E. The Old and Modern Telngu-Canarese Alphabets 28 

§2. Grantha-Tamil Alphabets 26 

A. C^ra 26 

B. Cdla-Grantha S3 

C. Modem Grantha and Tulu-MalayMam 34 

D. Tamil 36 

§ 3. The Yatteluttu 38 

§ 4. South-Indian Varieties of the N&gart . « 42 

Note. Foreign Alphabets used by particular Seots in 8. India 44 

CH. III. South-Indian Numerals 46 

§ 1. The Modifications of the *CaTe Numerals* found in the Yengi and C^ra Insoriptions .... 51 

§2. The Tamil Numerals 51 

§ 3. The Telugu-Canarese Numerals 52 

Note. 1. South-Indian Eras 58 

2. Method of marking Numbers by Words and Letters 57 

CH. lY. Accents and Signs of Punctuation, etc 60 

Part II. EiementB of I^iplomaties. 

CH. Y. The different Kinds of South-Indian Insoriptions and their Forms 63 

Appendix A. The adaptation of the Sanskrit Alphabet to the Drayidian Languages 81 

Do. B. Transcripts- in Roman Letters of the Facsimiles in Plates xx., xxi., xxii., xxiii., xxiv., xxy., ixyii. 

and xxix. h, in modern Malay&lam. 86 


List of Plates and direction to the binder. 

Mapf to face title* 

The tintod parts indicate the extenaion of the earlier alphabets (CAlukya-Cdra and Yattelnttn), the lines enelose the 
ooontry over which the modern or secondary alphabets extended before 1600 A. D. 

A. Alphabets* 

Plate: i. Yeagi Alphabet, 4th century, 

ii. C^ra do. 466 A. D. 

iiL W. CMokya Alphabet, 608 A. D. 
It. Do. do. 689 A. D. 

iv.* Eastern C&lokya Alphabet, about 680 A. D. 

945 A. D. 
1079 A. D. 
1184 A. D. 
1866 A. D. 
1428 A. D. 
11th oentnry. 
xL Gane^ temple (at SeTcn Pagodas) Alphabet <X. C4ra). 
xiL Cdla-arantha Alphabet 1078 A. D. 

xiiL Modem Ghrantha do. 
xiT. Do. Tulu do. 











Old Telngu 











774 A. D. 


Old Tamil 


1073 A. D. 




1899 A. D. 




1601 A. D. 



B. Faesimilea. 

XX. ft xxi. Grant by Ygayanandi (4th century), TengL 
xxii. One leaf of W. CAlukya Grant, d. 608 A. D. 
xxiii. CSra Grant in Ganarese, d. 804 A. D. 

xxiT. Grant by YishnuTardhana (Eastern C&lukya) of about 680 A. D. (? 622) 
xxT. Two leayes of K C41ukya Grant (by Ammarftja) d. 945 A. D. 
xxri. One leaf of Grant, d. 1079 A. D. 
xxTii. Do. Kandi-K&gart Grant d. 1899 A. D. 

xxriil. Specimen of Nandi-K&gart (about 1600 A. D.) and Telugu (about 1670 A. D.) from Palm-leaf MSS. 
xxix. One leaf of the Grant to the Persian Christians (about 825 A. D.), and Specimen of Kdlelotts, 

d. 1724 A. D. 
XXX. Specimens of Grantha and Tamil MSS. on Palm-leaTCS of about 1600 A. D. 
Plate A. Seals on Grants. To face p. 75. 

Plates i. ~xxx. to come at the end* 

li. Tii/ t Tih Tw y r I 'V f sh s 1v 




















































































































a,„y««4. ^ »|d*»,^W^^P~, g»<i»a^m»»«, ^.Wu.,^ 


«/.n • 7*afe^ CO Z«/. 



Tc lOv ff ih/ m/ y r 







X/ •»» 




e <U 












































,;%' ^ %" 




















Compounds afo 

pi^«w.5^W^^?^w^ ^iOhOi^na^fM.^ ^^^fwn^.^ ««', 

jw/.Qorcxfe^ COz^. 

































«i» D 

CD ^ 















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^^t/ W/ 




































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) eitfd 













































i, t^ 





Compounds "iJckiSbJ^ 

^W, ^^,g^sM>j^shn., r^PshyWj 



^lU h ^ iJ I If J IS h 

* \ i Vh/ m^ y r ^ >* f Jft' ^ fc 




, ^jJMia-; ^sCkV) djlstw, 6^ta«, €J fo^- ),ei«*'i 








Jc Jch/i' ly Ijlv iw -y r 


f Jft/ 






11 il 




























' ' " - '- 















Cffmfuj^lttrtt/, 0\y sya>} ^ m^(/1ndl/)o z Hvi i it/. 

v^^ tA? ^»^«*^> fj*****^,- ^/0*i-? Ji G vr3i^<;^w^^23f§*'*w'»^ 





Js 'Mv g > fi^ jtv y 


08 A.D. 


T) Vh/ TTf y r Iv-fJft-* 



c^ <^ <iJ L fS ^ <r* ^, 1 




Cpmpawnds « . ^jJitha,; M sihvj 







1 rn ^ o 71 f-^ xn m sm 71 HI ^ Ti ^ -^ T^lVt 


o! 1 

ury A.D. 

V ^r r 

V i^ ^ 

a- t/V 
t ^ 



Tersians (S^ ceni/i) 




X liOlNU BY 

I L. Joshu& 

• Mil /If /a fore. 

Ckve cJt€a\ 

Gdbar: I | 




8 9 















I ■ ! 












Ti»/ StUfffrccn>bct^^c^ccn4x»t£ti,Vostni&^'9'e.^ G^i 

; g^ = h2}3i4'. 










Ctv^e char. 












100 1000 


w ^ 







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^ra^ n,-i^-;io-q ^^^T^ t^, 3 

Si I 


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